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FTC and FCC contemplate aligning TSR & TCPA

from ATA E Connections out next week

Recently in the news was a release by the FCC seeking commentary on their mission to revise the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). The objectives mentioned in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking pre-rule making release were varied and it appears that to some extent, could play to the favor of the industry. Examining the preamble of the FCC’s notice, this agency seeks to better align with the FTC’s rules regarding robo-calling, consumer consent, exempting pre-recorded healthcare calls and what constitutes a telemarketing campaign.

One of the most immediate impacting elements of these proposed rule changes involves call abandonment when autodialing. What has been a commonly observed difference between the FCC’s TCPA and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sale Rule (“TSR”) relates to what constitutes a campaign? Currently the FTC views a campaign logically as singular dedicated process relating to a good or service. They measure abandonment in a blocked thirty day period. Good, make sense, measurable.

The FCC, however, looks at abandonment on a rolling thirty days and does not define a campaign according to particular product/provider segment but rather lumps them all together. Illogical, and as you likely agree, darn tough to measure as the campaigns as we practitioners consider are then blended under the FCC’s current measurement. So maybe now we’ll see that this one step of conformity between federal regulatory agencies will end up being an ongoing effort to help our businesses. Thank goodness the FTC is the model. We may not always enjoy having to endure their rules but as a regular in the halls of the FTC, they are a far more receptive and collaborative group.

If you’d like to read the FCC’s notice, here is the link:

(http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-18A1.pdf)

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