The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) went into effect in late 1992. Later this month, significant revisions to the TCPA are scheduled to be implemented — specifically with regards to cell phones.
As summarized by the Direct Marketing Association, the current TCPA requires telemarketers to:
- Limit the calls to the period between 8 A.M. and 9 P.M.
- Maintain a “do not call list” and honor any request to not be called again. When such a request is received, the requester may not be called again on behalf of the business for whom the solicitation is made.
- Have a clearly written policy, available to anyone upon request.
- Have a training program for their personnel making the telephone solicitations.
- The “do not call” request must also be honored by any affiliate or subsidiary of the company if there is a reasonable expectation on the part of the consumer that there request would apply also to the affiliate or subsidiary.
And as the DMA summarizes: A call is exempt from the TCPA if the call is made on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, iIs not made for a commercial purpose, does not include an unsolicited advertisement, even if it is made for a commercial purpose, is made to a consumer with whom the calling company has an established business relationship.
What’s ahead later this month? According to Doug Smith and Andrew Smith, writing for Business Law Today:
“Key provisions of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rule are scheduled to take effect in October of this year. These changes will require written consent for auto-dialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls and text messages to cell phones, and will require written consent for prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines.”
“The TCPA has a private right of action, and recent class actions alleging violations of the law’s auto-dialer provisions have settled for tens of millions of dollars. The filing of TCPA complaints is on the rise, and recent court decisions have complicated the TCPA litigation landscape.”