Op-Ed ‘Opportunities for Regulatory Reforms that Help Consumers’

TCPA Clarity and CFPB Consumer Complaint Database fixes are in order this year.

1/21/2019 1:00 PM

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Op-Ed ‘Opportunities for Regulatory Reforms that Help Consumers’

Clarification of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a top regulatory reform priority in the New Year, according to an opinion piece by Matthew Kandrach, president of CASE, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, published in Morning Consult.

“We have reached a point where outdated regulations and unclear guidance on the application of TCPA rules have entangled businesses and consumers in a web of confusion. It is undeniable that consumers are harmed if they are receiving abusive and harassing telemarketing calls, but the TCPA has failed to adequately address these burdensome telemarketing scams to provide consumers with relief and businesses with certainty,” Kandrach writes.

He adds that it’s time for regulators to confirm what defines an automated telephone dialing system and “draw greater distinctions between fraudulent actors and legitimate business communications using a predictive dialer that does not randomly call phone numbers, but only calls the customers they serve.”

Reviewing the law will benefit consumers and businesses.

These priorities are in line with what ACA International continues to advocate for on Capitol Hill and with regulators such as the Federal Communications Commission.

“Hopefully, 2019 will be the year businesses receive clarity, and consumers can again receive communications from their trusted information providers,” Kandrach writes.

He also reports updates to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaint database are in order this year.

“This database was established as a platform for consumers to submit their complaints and receive assistance from the CFPB when applicable. While this represents an important tool for the overall mission of the CFPB, the methodology for collecting and categorizing the complaints is highly flawed. Industries are unfairly lumped together without adequately categorizing complaints across various sectors,” according to Kandrach.

Read more on the need for improvements in the database in coverage from ACA International.

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