YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Shutdown halts do-not-call list. Can you sue a telemarketer?

October 02, 2013|By David Lazarus

The government shutdown has caught the Federal Trade Commission in its cold embrace, and that means the do-not-call list is on the fritz.

Telemarketers have free rein to call people.

Robin thus asks a timely question: Can you sue a telemarketer?

And the answer is: Yup, you can. And you could win up to $1,500 in damages for each violation.

But it may not be easy.

ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions

First, you'll need to send the marketer a certified letter asking them to knock it off. Finding these guys isn't always easy.

Keep a copy of the letter. Also keep detailed logs of all calls.

Then take your case to small claims court. If the judge sympathizes with your plight, you might prevail -- and there are plenty of online examples of people who say they've done just that.

To find out more about your right, do a search for "Telephone Consumer Protection Act." And check out today's Ask Laz video.

If you have a consumer question, email me at or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

Los Angeles Times Articles