You may have seen our recent coverage of the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI), which explores ways to alleviate robocalls to reassigned phone numbers. As an extension of that discussion, I recently sat down with Derek Johnson, founder and CEO of Tatango, a market-leading text message-marketing platform, to address some of the challenges created by the FCC's one-call "safe harbor." Derek has been watching this issue closely and recently filed comments in response to the NOI. He is wholly invested in finding a solution that not only assuages his clients' concerns about reassigned numbers but also meets the FCC’s demands.

The Problem:

Currently, the FCC's one-call safe harbor gives companies one call to figure out that a formerly consenting subscriber’s number has been reassigned to a new, non-consenting consumer. In a perfect (although understandably unrealistic) world, consumers would notify companies whenever they switch phone numbers. The burden, however, is placed on companies to determine when a reassignment has occurred.

An excerpt from Tatango’s response to the FCC’s NOI outlines the impracticality of this issue.

The Commission’s 2015 TCPA Order has placed law-abiding businesses across the country, like those served by Tatango, in an impossible position, namely, to ensure that text messages are never made to a reassigned wireless telephone number, even though no existing mechanism captures 100% of the estimated 35 million number reassignments occurring each year.

On Track For a Solution:

Fortunately, the FCC hears the cries of TCPA compliance-minded companies cautiously tiptoeing through TCPA minefields. Specifically, it has acknowledged the discrepancy between the high expectations of the one-call safe harbor and the current lack of reliable methods to track number reassignments. Hopefully, after hearing directly from telemarketing companies and any others impacted by the one-call safe harbor, the FCC will implement a practical solution (one that is more feasible than the unforgiving, and not-so-safe, safe harbor).

We will continue to follow the NOI developments. For now, enjoy Derek’s analysis and perspective in our latest podcast as we traverse the land of reassigned numbers.

One-Call Safe Harbor Podcast

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