D.C. Circuit has just released a landmark decision regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). The court's opinion is based on its review of the FCC’s 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (“FCC Order”).
The FCC Order contains an expansive interpretation of the TCPA that left many telemarketers wondering how to remain compliant in the face of confusing and broad regulation. In an upcoming webinar — scheduled for MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM PDT/2:00 PM EDT — TCPA experts will break down the ruling and provide a roadmap navigating the new regulatory landscape.
The D.C. Circuit Opinion has Addressed Several Key TCPA Issues:
- Autodialers: One of the more pressing issues of the FCC Order is the FCC’s definition of an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (autodialer or ATDS), which currently includes any dialing equipment with the future “capacity” to autodial numbers, rather than only those devices that have the present ability to do so. Put differently, while certain equipment may not be called, or even considered, an autodialer, if there’s even the potential for it to be used as an autodialer in the future, it is considered an autodialer despite its current inability to function as one under the FCC’s Order. The D.C. Circuit rejected the FCC’s expansive definition.
- Revocation of Consent: According to the FCC’s Order, consumers have the right to opt out of calls by any “reasonable” means necessary. The FCC noted that any consumer-initiated revocation could be determined “reasonable” on a case-by-case basis. Without a bright line on what exactly constitutes reasonable revocation, companies are at the mercy of the judge or the FCC, who’s left determining whether a consumer’s method of revocation was reasonable – whatever that method might be. The Court sided with the FCC on this issue, but provided some useful guidance that will be discussed in the webinar.
- Reassigned Numbers: The FCC acknowledged that approximately 100,000 numbers are reassigned every day, but that current technology does not always accurately record the reassignments. Despite this acknowledgment, under the FCC Order, a caller had one call (yes, one) to determine that the number of a formerly consenting consumer has been reassigned to a new non-consenting consumer. The calling party is still responsible for ceasing contact regardless of whether the reassigned party answers the call to help facilitate that fact. Any call beyond that and the caller faces potential TCPA fines and litigation exposure. The D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC's one-call safe harbor and its treatment of reassigned numbers. We'll discuss what this means for the industry and future action at the FCC.
Please join us for this relevant and timely webinar. Our TCPA experts are analyzing the decision and will provide you with practical insights on what it means for your marketing efforts.
Don’t miss your chance to join in the live Q&A discussion with the experts!