If you’re going to send junk faxes to consumers in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it might be wise not to send any of them to a law office.
The class for this action is all persons and entities who were sent unsolicited faxes after October 6, 2013, advertising JCM’s products or services, where the ad failed to contain the required opt-out notice.
The TCPA was passed by Congress to protect consumers from the ever-increasing barrage of telemarketing, robo-calls, and other unwanted communications made possible by new technology.
Later, the law was amended with the Junk Facsimile Prevention Act of 2005, extending laws regarding unsolicited faxes. Unsolicited faxes were a concern because they tie up the recipient’s phone line and fax machine, use the recipient’s paper and ink supplies, and waste the recipient’s time in dealing with them.
One of the provisions of the amendment was that any advertising faxes sent contain an opt-out notice that met specific requirements, so that consumer could easily opt-out of receiving any future faxes. The notices must be clear and conspicuous, on the first page of the fax. They must state that the recipient may request the sender not to send any more ads, and that the sender must comply within thirty days. Finally, they must contain a domestic telephone number or fax number, so that the recipient can easily transmit the opt-out request.
According to the complaint for this class action, on or about September 19, 2017, JCM sent the plaintiff law office an advertising fax. JCM buys and sells copy machines and offers related services, and, the complaint said, the ad described specific Sharp brand copiers that JCM was offering to provide at purportedly highly discounted prices. This fax was unsolicited, and it also did not contain the required opt-out notice.
The complaint asks for statutory damages of $1,500 per fax willfully sent to each class member or $500 per fax negligently sent to each class member, as well as penalties and attorneys’ fees and costs.