Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued
final approval of the new telemarketing rules adopted by the US
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in February 2012. As a
result of the OMB's approval, the FCC can begin enforcement of
the new telemarketing rules as follows:
November 15, 2012:
By this date all telemarketers must have abandonment rates of
less than 3 percent of all calls answered by a live person. (47 CFR
January 14, 2013:
For all prerecorded telemarketing calls, callers must provide
an automated, interactive voice- and/or keypress-activated, opt-out
mechanism for the called person to make a do-not-call request,
including brief explanatory instructions on how to use such a
mechanism, within two seconds of providing the identification of
the business responsible for the call. (47 CFR §
October 16, 2013:
For all telemarketing calls to mobile numbers, telemarketers
must obtain prior express written consent from the called party (47
CFR § 64.1200(a)(2));
For all telemarketing calls to residential numbers,
telemarketers must obtain prior express written consent from the
called party before initiating a call using a pre-recorded or
artificial voice. (47 CFR § 64.1200(a)(3))
FCC Seeks Comments on Telemarketing Practices
The FCC is seeking comment on three petitions requesting that
the commission revise or clarify its telemarketing rules governing
the use of automatic telephone dialing systems, prerecorded
messages and consumer consent obligations. Specifically, the FCC is
seeking comment on:
A Petition for Declaratory Ruling, filed by Communications
Innovators, that asks the commission to clarify that predictive
dialers that are not used for telemarketing purposes and that do
not have the current ability to generate and dial numbers are not
"automatic telephone dialing systems" under the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and FCC rules.
A Request for Clarification, filed by CallAssistant, LLC,
regarding the application of the TCPA and how it relates to the use
of operator-supervised, prerecorded call segments.
A Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling, filed by the Cargo
Airline Association, requesting a ruling that package delivery
companies can rely upon representations from senders that the
package recipient consents to receiving autodialed and prerecorded
calls to wireless phone numbers to notify them about the delivery
of a package.
Comments on all three petitions are due November
15. Reply comments are due November 30.
The requests for comment continue similar proceedings initiated by
the FCC in late September 2012 to address petitions for
reconsideration of the new telemarketing rules adopted in February
FCC Creates Do-Not-Call List for 911 Call Centers
Last week, the FCC voted to establish a specialized Do-Not-Call
Registry for public safety answering points (PSAPs). Rules adopted
by the FCC:
Allow PSAPs to upload any number associated with the provision
of emergency services or communications with other public safety
agencies onto a specialized Do-Not-Call Registry.
Prohibit operators of robocalling equipment (autodialers) from
using such equipment to contact any number on the registry except
for an emergency purpose.
Adopt specific monetary penalties for contacting or disclosing
numbers contained in the PSAP registry.
Violations of the prohibition on robocalling numbers on the
registry will result in monetary penalties that are not less than
US$10,000 per call or text nor more than US$100,000 per call or
text. Before the rules can become effective, the FCC will need to
establish the technical details of the specialized Do-Not-Call
Registry and obtain the OMB's approval of rules.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it had settled enforcement actions against four insurance companies in connection with alleged improper payments between the insurance companies and mortgage lenders.