February 22, 2012
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) is a federal law that governs for automatically dialed or prerecorded calls (so-called “robocalls”) and automated text messages. places limits on unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls to landline home telephones, and all autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless numbers, emergency numbers, and patient rooms at health care facilities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved new rules to clarify the requirements
The FCC’s proposed rules will impose clearer obligations on the consent requirement for telemarketing calls and text message. Specifically, the rules make three significant changes. First is clarification about “written consent” which must be obtained in the form of 1) paper or through electronic means, including website forms, 2) a telephone keypress, or 3) a recording of oral consent.
Second, it removes the “established business relationship” exemption.
Lastly, the new rules allow one to opt out of receiving additional telemarketing robocalls immediately during a robocall through an automated menu.
What’s Not Changing?
The national Do-Not-Call list created under the TCPA by the FCC, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remains. To register a number, go to http://www.donotcall.gov.
How To File A Complaint
One can file a complaint with the FCC at https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form1088.action?form_type=1088C. While the FCC cannot award monetary or other damages to consumers, filing complaints allows the Commission to investigate violators. However, in some states you are allowed to file suits against telemarketers and receive monetary damages for violations of these rules.