The Federal Communications Commission ruled this month that “ringless voicemail” to wireless phones is a “call” made using an artificial or prerecorded voice and therefore subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act robocall prohibition.  The TCPA prohibits making any non-emergency call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to a wireless telephone number without the prior express consent of the called party. … Continue Reading

In January, attorney generals representing all 50 states called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put a plan in place to counter what they perceived to be a growing tide of fraudulent robocalls.  The FCC proposed states act collaboratively to share information for investigations which it claims would prevent duplicative efforts, allowing pooling of resources, and accelerate investigations. … Continue Reading

Although several court decisions have held that ringless voicemails to a consumer’s cell phone constitute “calls” subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) autodialer prohibition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  has not yet officially weighed in on the question.  In 2017, a marketing company filed a petition with the FCC seeking a declaratory ruling that the technology was not subject to the TCPA but the petition was withdrawn.… Continue Reading

On December 30, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Report and Order, implementing provisions of the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (the “TRACED Act”).

By way of background, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) includes a provision that bans “any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party,” unless a statutory or regulatory exception applies.… Continue Reading

In an Order on Reconsideration issued December 9, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission concluded that the TCPA applies to contractors working for the federal government.  The Order reverses a 2016 Declaratory Ruling.  Unlike the 2016 ruling in which it declined to address state and local governments, the FCC also determined in the Order that the TCPA does not apply to state governments but state government contractors and local governments are subject to the TCPA.… Continue Reading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has joined the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits in ruling that the “prior express consent” required by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for autodialed calls to cellular phones must come from the current subscriber and not the intended recipient of the call.… Continue Reading

A group of banking trade associations have filed a “Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling, Clarification, or Waiver” with the FCC regarding how the Telephone Communication Protection Act’s “emergency purposes” exception applies to phone calls and text messages placed by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.… Continue Reading

The Federal Communications Commission, on its own motion, has issued a Declaratory Ruling to address how the Telephone Communication Protection Act’s “emergency purposes” exception applies to calls relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TCPA includes an “emergency purposes” exception to its general prohibition on making automated or prerecorded calls to a cellular telephone number without the called party’s prior express consent. … Continue Reading

The FCC has issued a notice announcing that it is seeking comment on a petition filed by Capital One Services, LLC (Capital One) that asks the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling to confirm that the recipient of an opt-out request sent in response to a text message does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending a confirmation text message to clarify the scope of the request. … Continue Reading

Recently, the twelve largest telecom providers and the attorneys general of all fifty states and Washington, D.C., entered into an agreement aimed at identifying and deterring robocalls. Although this agreement is intended primarily to help combat the use of robocalls, to make spam calls illegal and to protect consumers, the agreement’s emphasis on broader access to call-blocking functionality will likely pose challenges for a wide range of legitimate callers, including creditors and debt collection agencies.… Continue Reading