ThinkstockPhotos-530940310Many businesses monitor or record customer service, telemarketing, and other telephone calls with consumers to help them improve customer service and for evidentiary reasons. Under federal and many state laws, calls may lawfully be monitored or recorded by businesses as long as those businesses have permission from their employees who participate on the calls. However, some states require the permission of everyone participating on a call before the call may legally be monitored or recorded. And some state laws potentially implicated by monitoring and recording calls are not clear as to what is required. California is one of those states.
Continue Reading Monitoring and Recording Consumers’ Calls in California Can Be a Risky Practice

During the past decade, there has been an explosion in class action litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA),1 a well-intended statute meant to address abusive telemarketing practices. As of late, many of these suits are based on calls or text messages to cell phones. The TCPA prohibits non-emergency calls (interpreted by the FCC to include text messages) to a cell phone made using an “automatic telephone dialing system” without the prior express consent of the called party.2 A perceived ambiguity in what type of equipment qualifies as an “automatic telephone dialing system” has fueled these litigation fires and has led to hundreds of cases being filed against companies that do not use telemarketing equipment but communicate with their users or facilitate their users’ communications via text message. An end to the litigation explosion in this area may be just around the corner as federal appellate courts consider the issue.
Continue Reading Appellate Courts to Address What Constitutes an “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” Under the TCPA