There is an important case pending before the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit which will have a direct operational impact on the type of technology your members can use to reach out to potential members. It also underscores just how unhinged the TCPA has become from Congress’ original intent and why Congress should do something to restore commonsense.
First, a primer/refresher on the issue I am talking about. The Telephone Communications Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991. Its Senate sponsor, Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina who passed away recently, described the emerging use of automated telemarketing campaigns as “the scourge of modern civilization. They wake you up in the morning, they interrupt our dinner at night, they force the sick and elderly out of bed; they hound us until we want to rip the telephone out of the wall.” While the Senator may have slightly overstated the case, the reality is many consumers continue to feel harassed by these non-stop pictures and their frustration has made TCPA litigation one of the hottest areas of consumer class-action lawsuits. Credit unions have not been exempt from this trend.
The legislation he sponsored was codified as 47 USC §227. This law makes it unlawful for any person to make any call other than for emergency purposes using “any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial prerecorded voice unless the person has an established business relationship with the recipient.” Seems simple enough except the statute defines an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) as equipment “which has the capacity–(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.”
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