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Rubio's, the Carlsbad-based Mexican fast-food chain, on August 11 asked the Federal Communications Commission to clarify Telephone Consumer Protection Act applicability.

In 1991, the federal government passed the act to protect people against pestiferous telephone solicitation. But as so often happens, plaintiff lawyers moved in to file reams of suits against companies, some of which may have stumbled into violations of the act.

Rubio's says it has a remote messaging service to provide key employees with food and safety information. Rubio's says that a staff member lost his phone. As a result, hundreds of remote messaging alerts were received by a wireless subscriber who got the old cell number.

Rubio's claims the subscriber waited until he received 876 alerts before filing a suit against Rubio's under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The fast-food chain says it faces half a million dollars in possible damages, exclusive of possible treble damages.

Rubio's maintains that the messages did not pertain to marketing. The company wants clarification from the Federal Communications Commission on the matter.

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Comments

JustWondering Aug. 19, 2014 @ 8:19 a.m.

876 text messages over what period of time? I thought my wife was a prolific "texter" at 440 text messages a month. If Rubios is sending this many messages over a months time I may owe her an apology?

Or is this the "new normal" of how we communicate between employer and employee these days?

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 8:51 a.m.

JustWondering: The FCC filing does not say over what period of time the 876 messages came. You raise an interesting point. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 1:12 p.m.

I'd suggest yet another issue/loophole that also needs to be clarified by the FCC and/or fixed, which is that it is impossible to tell robo-callers to take your name off their list, which completely negates our right to limit frustrating tele-marketing.

Perhaps Rubio's will include this in their request and do us all a whooping big favor!

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danfogel Aug. 19, 2014 @ 1:24 p.m.

founder/captd in 2012 the FCC issued new rules that went into affect in October of last year. Are you aware of them??

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Founder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 1:55 p.m.

danfogel - No and specifically, I know of no war to stop getting robo-calls.

Have a link you want to share? + Maybe there is some code you can punch in like *NO to have them never call again.

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 2:52 p.m.

Founder: If danfogel has a way to stop these calls, he should share it with us. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 8:26 p.m.

danfogel: There's a start. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 2:51 p.m.

danfogel: The new rules aren't stopping robo-callers and other unsolicited callers at our house. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 19, 2014 @ 5:42 p.m.

Maybe you're just lucky. I've had the same phone number at my place in San Clemente since by wife and I bought it not quite 20 yrs ago. I also have a place in Tucson. It was my parents house, the house I grew up in. I still have the same phone that my parents always had, and when I'm not there, calls are forwarded to my place here. I get very few unsolicited calls at either number. I actually have never gotten many unsolicited or robo prerecorded calls. I don't know what to tell you. Maybe I'm just lucky. I am sure that it probably doesn't help if one has their number plastered all over the internet, though.

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 8:28 p.m.

danfogel: We have two phones. About 98 percent of the robo-calls go to the phone that is NOT displayed on the Internet. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 19, 2014 @ 10:01 p.m.

Don BAuder, Actually, I wasn't referring to you. Someone else who posts here has his actual name and presumably a home phone all over the place.

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Don Bauder Aug. 20, 2014 @ 5:38 a.m.

danfogel: OK, but my phone is listed on the net in a few places. The other one isn't. I appreciate your helping all of us on the blog with this. I barely know anybody who isn't annoyed by solicitation calls, many disguised as public opinion surveys. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 1:43 p.m.

danfogel: You may not be referring to me, but my phone is posted on the Internet in a couple of places. I get few such calls on that phone. Most of the pest calls come on the phone that is only listed in the phone book. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 19, 2014 @ 2:49 p.m.

Founder: That is a big problem. Robo-callers are a nuisance, but the government does little about them. That's probably because politicians and political parties are among the biggest users of robo-calls. Best, Don Baduer

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CaptainObvious Aug. 20, 2014 @ 9:49 a.m.

It appears that the "do not call act" is no longer enforcable.

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Visduh Aug. 20, 2014 @ 10:40 a.m.

That is my take on the situation. It was so nice for several years after that law went into effect. But in the past two to three years, I start getting calls that come across as defiant. As in, I tell 'em that we're on the list, and they just keep the spiel going until I hang up. Add to that all the robo calls and scam calls, and you have incentive to just stop having a land line telephone. The telecoms should be making every effort to stop this abuse, but I know of nothing they're doing as an industry.

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Don Bauder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 1:46 p.m.

Visduh: We look where the call is from. It's a location we don't recognize, we don't take the call, figuring that if it's important, the person will call back. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 21, 2014 @ 4:53 p.m.

don bauder " we don't take the call, figuring that if it's important, the person will call back." Don't even tell me that you don't have voicemail!!!

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Don Bauder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 1:44 p.m.

CaptainObvious: It seems like that to us. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Aug. 20, 2014 @ 10:18 p.m.

I always use a Jack Nicholson soundboard when telemarketers call. I also like to use Joe Pesci's soundboard. He says really revolting things. It's very amusing. You should try it.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/soundboards/play/1864/

http://www.realmofdarkness.net/pc/pesci-sb

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Don Bauder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 1:49 p.m.

Burwell: Both of those are very good. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 21, 2014 @ 4:59 p.m.

Here's the 'interesting" part of this "story". If you lose your cell phone, you don't get a new number unless you ask for one. When you get the new phone, your carrier just does a device id change just like you were doing an upgrade. And if you do ask for a new number, it's generally 6 months or more before your old number is recycled, depending on your carrier and the demand. So why didn't this guy just give Rubio's his new number, or did he and was there some snafu and they forgot to remove it from their calling list? Seems to me there's more to this story than is being told.

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Don Bauder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 8:22 p.m.

danfogel: There may be more to the story, but it sounds to me that the guy who got the second number was engaging in something similar to entrapment by waiting until he got 876 calls. I have done a story on this kind of caper before. I may be wrong, of course, in this instance. Best, Don Bauder

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