January 30, 2015

Senators Ask FCC to Reject Petitions to Clarify TCPA Regulations

While businesses are facing an all-time high in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits, more than fifteen (15) Senators this week pushed federal regulators to reject petitions that could provide exemptions to companies that have legitimate business purpose to use auto-dialers when trying to reach consumers’ cell phones.

Unsettled TCPA case law concerning the scope of consent, how to revoke consent, the definition of automated dialer, and what is classified as pay-per-call, has lead the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider some of the stringent regulations in place today so as to not penalize legitimate use of automated dialers.

In November, the FCC Commissioner said the law needs clarification, “for too many American companies seeking to conduct legitimate marketing or collection efforts, or even to communicate with subscribers or employees, the implementation and enforcement of TCPA has turned into a nightmare [for]….companies serving every sector of U.S. commercial activity, including health care, education, banking, sports, tech, and consumer services.”

The group of mostly Democratic Senators has asked the FCC to consider the success of the National Do-Not-Call Registry with more than 223 million registrants. They wrote, “these [TCPA] protections should continue for years to come. The FCC should reject calls to weaken or undermine this effective law.” Many businesses would disagree considering the great risk of using auto-dialers in today’s uncertain legal landscape, and would agree with the FCC that clarification of the TCPA is needed as courts attempt to interpret the FCC’s intentions.

Gryphon’s consulting team will continue to monitor all of the petitions currently pending before the FCC, and update this blog with all developments.