The TCPA's primary function was meant to keep robocalls from invading your life.

But there are obscure regulations outlined in the TCPA that make compliance tricky. The recent uptick of TCPA lawsuits proves that. One such regulation: making faxes without the recipient’s permission can result in a civil penalty. Gene Kalsky is the owner of a wholesale pipe and plumbing business, Gen-Kal Pipe and Steel Corp. in Mount Laurel. Gene regularly sends faxes to his customers and prospects listing specials. This unsuspecting business owner found himself on the receiving end of a TCPA collision with disaster. Here's the story:

The Background

Kalsky claims he remains, in good faith, law abiding and compliant. He says he reaches out to his customers periodically to make sure they still want his faxes. One customer, M.S. Wholesale Plumbing, called BS on this.

According to Kalsky, M.S. Wholesale Plumbing had been sent faxes for 10 years without a problem. In 2015, that changed. The company filed a lawsuit against Kalsky, alleging a TCPA violation.

Kalsky was so sure he did nothing wrong that he didn't even bring an attorney to his first hearing. Nor did he travel to Pope County, Ark. to answer the charges in person. It may have ended up costing him much more than he anticipated.

The Decision

The fax sent to M.S. Wholesale Plumbing was a $500 fine - nothing crazy. But Kasky's failure to respond to a request admitting to sending at least 25,000 faxes to Arkansas residents was what clinched it. His failure to respond was interpreted as an admission of guilt. So, let's see. $500 per violation, multiplied by 25,000 faxes...

$12.5 million later, here we are.

After Kalsky attempted to file for bankruptcy, the court went after Kalsky's assets. This includes the beachfront home he had saved his entire life for. With his business filing chapter 11, his employees being out of the job, and his home on the line, Kalsky was at a loss. Now, after appealing to the public, Kalsky awaits an Arkansas judge's decision. If it goes in his favor, the decision could allow a payback for attorney fees and the postponement of the sale of his home - for Kalsky to get his life back.

What Is Means for You

The TCPA doesn't discriminate - with the best intentions, it comes for collection agencies and plumbing wholesalers alike. Although there has been some progress made to keep the regulations reasonable for those of us who are trying our best to remain compliant, there are always unfortunate cases like Kalsky's. And there's still a chance he may come out with the ability to recover. But while it's great to win lawsuits, it's better not to get them at all. Running a collection agency puts you on the front lines of the raging TCPA compliance battle. Arm yourself with Arbeit Click, a manual dialing solution that adds three levels of human intervention and offers robust DNC capabilities. You may sleep a bit more soundly.