Please stop calling me…Unless you’re my credit union
T-C-P-A. This four letter acronym invokes a lot of fear in credit unions across the country. Most of that fear is based on the very real risk of facing a lawsuit for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). There are individuals known as “TCPA trolls” who have made a lot of money filing TCPA lawsuits against those institutions that have intentionally or unintentionally placed calls (including text messages) to their numbers. Plaintiffs’ attorneys were quick to notice this trend and have profited greatly from the skyrocketing number of TCPA cases in recent years.
For starters, Congress enacted the TCPA in 1991. That’s right, 26 years ago. Considering all of the technological advancements since the ’90s, it is no surprise that the Act is in serious need of modernization. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued several orders since then attempting to clarify the TCPA’s vague language, including in 2003, 2012, and (this one is a doozy) 2015. Shortly after the FCC’s 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order), NAFCU detailed the background and details of the FCC’s proclamation on this blog. Since then, NAFCU has been very vocal about its concerns with the following aspects of the 2015 Order and the FCC’s TCPA regulations generally: (1) the restrictive free-to-end-user exemption; (2) the overly-expansive definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (autodialers); (3) antiquated distinctions between mobile and residential phones; (4) the very vague standard for revoking previous consent; and (5) a lack of flexibility with regard to reassigned numbers.continue reading »