Press Release: Rep. Pallone’s Overly Broad Definition of an Autodialer Would Hinder Critical Informational Communications
2/6/2019 8:00 AM
ACA International raises concerns about House legislation that would sweep illegal robocalls and legitimate non-telemarketing business calls into one category
The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 946) reintroduced Monday by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., would harm consumers by stymieing the free flow of information between thousands of legitimate businesses and consumers.
ACA International, the leading voice of the accounts receivable management industry, raises concerns that Pallone’s legislation presents an overly broad characterization of what is considered a robocall including a problematic expanded definition of what is considered an autodialer.
“If the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act was appropriately tailored to focus on bad actors that are making abusive and illegal robocalls, we would be in staunch support of such efforts,” said Mark Neeb, ACA International CEO. “ACA members strongly agree that consumers deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully. However, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act is not tailored to that goal and it instead does more harm than good by creating additional confusion, in an already confusing marketplace for determining how to comply with the severely outdated Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991.”
“When Congress enacted the TCPA, it was for the purpose of limiting abusive telemarketing calls, yet Rep. Pallone’s legislation would mark an even further departure from that original laudable goal of stopping sales calls that consumers have not consented to receive, while doing nothing to deter illegal robocallers who have no interest in following the law,” Neeb said. “Consumers often need the communications that legitimate businesses provide them and creating new onerous requirements for communicating with them is harmful.”
Unfortunately, the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act is not helpful in clarifying the TCPA, a stale law which fails to reflect modern technology and consumers’ preferences. Instead, Pallone’s legislation will make it harder for legitimate businesses to contact consumers, and for those consumers to learn about information they need to preserve their ability to access credit, health services, and a large variety of other exigent information.