The rule, now in effect, focuses on call limits to landlines and prior express written consent.
07/19/2023 12:40 P.M.
3.5 minute read
A rule from the Federal Communications Commission in effect now requires compliance with call limits to landlines and opt-out mechanisms for consumers.
Last year, the FCC issued a revised order (PDF) on TCPA exemptions with updates to its rule requiring prior express written consent in response to a petition (PDF) from ACA International and a coalition of joint industry trade associations.
According to the FCC’s final rule:
- “Compliance is required for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act exemptions for artificial or prerecorded voice calls made to residential telephone lines to ensure each satisfies the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence [TRACED] Act’s requirements to identify who can call, who can be called, and any call limits.
- Compliance is also required with the limits on the number of calls that can be made under the exemptions for non-commercial calls to a residence; commercial calls to a residence that do not include an advertisement or constitute telemarketing; tax-exempt nonprofit organization calls to a residence; and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)-related calls to a residence.
- Callers must have mechanisms in place to allow consumers to opt out of any future calls.”
What Does That Mean?
On reconsideration of the TCPA exemptions order, the FCC revised its rule requiring prior express written consent to make informational calls over the numerical limits and to permit callers to obtain the necessary consent either orally or in writing.
The revision will ensure consumers can continue to receive the important informational calls that they have requested and consented to receive about their utility service, financial accounts, package deliveries and health care services.
ACA and its industry trade association partners have consistently advocated with the FCC on rules required under the TRACED Act to ensure legitimate business calls are getting through to consumers who want them while mitigating illegal robocalls from bad actors.
The revised requirements are an important compliance development for all callers, not just those covered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Regulation F. ACA’s advocacy helped keep communication open between consumers and callers to ensure they receive important financial, health care and utility information, for example, while respecting their preferred method and frequency of communication.
Colin Winkler, ACA’s senior counsel, Michael Klutho, attorney at Bassford Remele, Ernest “Skip” Kohlmyer, shareholder at Shepard, Smith, Kohlmyer & Hand, P.A and Mark Brennan, partner at Hogan Lovells, presented an initial overview of the requirements on the ACA Huddle for members, which can be accessed here.
An ACA Huddle with Mark Brennan and Katy Milner, partners at Hogan Lovells, provides an overview of how the rule could impact your business and call flow. You can read an excerpt in the July/August 2023 Collector magazine right here.
FCC Comment Requests
In other news from the FCC, it is moving forward with a proposed rule that would implement call blocking notification requirements for voice service providers, among other items, ACA previously reported.
Comments on the proposed rule are due Aug. 9, and reply comments are due Sept. 14.
To submit comments online, select “Submit a Filing” on the FCC’s electronic comment filing system and identify comments under CG Docket No. 17-59.
Members may also submit feedback to inform ACA’s comments to [email protected].
The FCC also seeks comments on a proposed rule that would extend consumers’ rights to revoke consent they previously gave to receive robocalls and robotexts. Comments are due July 31, according to a notice in the Federal Register.
The proposed rule also seeks to clarify callers’ obligations to honor consumers’ requests.
Callers are asked to provide feedback on whether they have experienced any challenges complying with consumers’ requests to revoke consent through any reasonable method, ACA previously reported.
Following the July 31 comment deadline, reply comments on the proposed rule are due Aug. 14, 2023.
To submit comments online, select “Submit a Filing” on the FCC’s electronic comment filing system and identify comments under CG Docket No. 02–278.
As the FCC continues to focus on requirements to address illegal or unwanted robocalls or texts, especially within the telecom industry, ACA has new resources available to help members navigate your telephone carriers’ call blocking and labeling requirements and ensure your calls and text messages are getting through.