Last week I was appointed as National Co-Lead Counsel in Portfolio Recovery TCPA MDL.
In an effort to address a growing number of telephone marketing calls, Congress enacted in 1991 the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricts the making of telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The rules apply to common carriers as well as to other marketers. In 1992, the Commission adopted rules to implement the TCPA, including the requirement that entities making telephone solicitations institute procedures for maintaining company-specific do-not-call lists.
Most recently, in 2012, the FCC revised its TCPA rules to require telemarketers (1) to obtain prior express written consent from consumers before robocalling them, (2) to no longer allow telemarketers to use an “established business relationship” to avoid getting consent from consumers when their home phones, and (3) to require telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism during each robocall so consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling.
Earlier, in 2003, the FCC revised its TCPA rules to establish, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a national Do-Not-Call registry. The national registry is nationwide in scope, covers all telemarketers (with the exception of certain nonprofit organizations), and applies to both interstate and intrastate calls. The registry went into effect on October 1, 2003, and is administered by the FTC. To reduce the number of hang-up and dead air calls consumers experience, the Commissions telemarketing rules also contain restrictions on the use of autodialers and requirements for transmitting caller ID information.