Tag Archives: Telemarketing

D.C. Circuit Limits FCC Jurisdiction on Fax Advertisements

On March 31, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley et.al. vs. FCC (No. 14-1234), holding that the FCC’s 2006 Solicited Fax Rule is unlawful to the extent that it requires opt-out notices on faxes sent with the recipient’s consent (i.e., … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Two Telemarketing Cases

On January 13, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it filed two lawsuits against more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants allegedly coordinated by two individuals.  In the complaints, the FTC alleges multiple violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).  Specifically, the complaints allege that over a period several years, the … Continue Reading

Webinar: The TCPA Thicket: Making Sense of the FCC’s Latest Ruling

On June 18,  the FCC approved a major TCPA Declaratory Ruling that redefines what equipment falls within the definition of an “autodialer,” specifies liability for calls to reassigned telephone numbers, provides consumers with a right to revoke consent by any reasonable means, and establishes new exceptions for financial and healthcare related calls, among other changes. With … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadline for Call-Blocking Technology Comments

On December 17, 2014, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (“CGB”) released an order extending the deadline to January 23, 2015 for interested parties to file comments in response to a request from the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) for a formal opinion regarding the legality of certain call-blocking technologies. The extension was granted pursuant … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Input on State Attorneys General’s Call-Blocking Technology Inquiry

The FCC’s docket dedicated to resolving issues related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) has been very active as of late.  Sometimes, it takes a while for the Commission to react to a filing made before it.  One recent example is the Public Notice released by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau on November … Continue Reading

In One Action, FCC Rules Against 24 TCPA Petitioners but Grants Retroactive Waivers of Opt-Out Requirements for Faxes

On October 30, 2014, the FCC released an order that effectively resolves nearly half of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) petitions pending before it. This order addresses 24 petitions seeking clarification of the Commission’s rules requiring individuals and entities that send fax advertisements to include certain information on the fax to allow recipients to “opt-out” … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Political Campaigns of TCPA Obligations Ahead of Elections

With mid-term elections just around the corner, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a stern warning to political campaigns and calling services regarding their obligation to comply with the TCPA and stating that the Commission “will not hesitate to act to protect consumer privacy and their freedom from the nuisance of unwanted calls.”  The Enforcement Advisory … Continue Reading

AT&T Mobility Agrees to Pay $45 Million to Settle TCPA Litigation

On September 30, 2014, AT&T Mobility (“AT&T”) asked a U.S. District Court judge to approve a settlement agreement that would resolve a class action arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA” or “Act”).  In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that AT&T made auto-dialed calls to wireless phone numbers without receiving the prior express consent … Continue Reading

In the Latest TCPA Twist, State AGs Seek FCC Guidance on Legality of Call-Blocking Technology

On September 9, 2014, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter signed by 39 state attorneys general to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler seeking a formal opinion as to whether there are any “legal and/or regulatory prohibitions [that] prohibit telephone carriers from implementing call-blocking technology,” and, if such prohibitions exist, whether a carrier may nevertheless … Continue Reading

FCC Urges Court to Adopt Narrow View of “Express Consent” for Autodialed Calls

On June 30, the Office of General Counsel for the Federal Communications Commission filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit urging the court to reverse a district court ruling that an individual consented to receiving debt collection calls by providing his cellular telephone number to an electric company … Continue Reading

FCC Holds “Robocall Broadcaster” Liable for Its Clients’ Prerecorded Messages

Already in May, the FCC Enforcement Bureau had proposed multi-million dollar NALs for cramming and TRS violations.  On May 8th, the FCC proposed a forfeiture for unlawful prerecorded messages (“robocalls”) sent to wireless phones.  What is most interesting, though, is that the FCC held the entity that facilitated the calls liable, not the parties on whose behalf … Continue Reading

Mobile App Provider Seeks Clarification on Applicability of the TCPA to OTT Texting Services

With class action cases proliferating, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) continues to receive petitions seeking guidance on the applicability of its rules to various calling or texting scenarios. In the latest example, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by TextMe, Inc. (“TextMe”). TextMe provides a free mobile telephone app … Continue Reading

FCC Grants, with Conditions, TCPA Waiver for Package Delivery Notifications; Allows Intermediary Consent for Text-Based Social Networking

The Federal Communications Commission (the “Commission” or “FCC”) seems to be opening the spigot a bit on its extensive backlog of Telephone Consumer Protect Act (“TCPA”) petitions. On March 27, 2014, the Commission granted, in part, two petitions for declaratory ruling from the Cargo Airline Association (the “CAA Order”) and GroupMe, Inc./Skype Communications S.A.R.L. (the … Continue Reading

Another TCPA Petition Reaches the FCC

Litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has exploded over the last few years.  During the course of such litigation, parties typically will seek the input of the Federal Communications Commission on issues of interpretation of the TCPA.  This may occur through a request from the court under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, or, … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Court holds that FCC Guidance on Agency Law in TCPA Cases is Not Binding on Courts

On January 22, 2014 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a two-page per curiam decision dismissing a petition by DISH Network, LLC that challenged the FCC’s “guidance” on the interpretation of agency law in the context of Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”). In its May 9, 2013 Declaratory … Continue Reading

Express Written Consent Requirement for Telemarketing Calls and Texts to Take Effect October 16, 2013

New rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") last year are about to take effect. These rules will make it more difficult for businesses to make telemarketing calls and texts to wireless customers and to certain residential customers by requiring express written consent (1) to make telemarketing calls using an autodialer or prerecorded message … Continue Reading

FCC Wades Back Into Cramming Issue

 In a move that appears aimed to maximize options for new Chairman Tom Wheeler when he assumes office, the FCC turned its attention again to its rules to address unauthorized charges on telephone bills, known colloquially as "cramming."  The FCC is asking parties to refresh the record in its docket considering rules for landline and … Continue Reading

FCC Permits Confirmatory Opt-Out Texts Under TCPA

Jameson Dempsey co-authored this post. In a ruling that FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai described as “a win for consumers and for innovative companies alike,” the FCC granted a petition for declaratory ruling filed by SoundBite Communications, Inc., finding that one-time text messages confirming a consumer’s request not to receive any future text messages do not … Continue Reading

Revised Telemarketing Rules to Take Effect Beginning July 11

This post was co-written by Randy Sifers. In February, the FCC adopted several changes to its telemarketing rules, including a new requirement that telemarketers must receive express written consent to send certain autodialed or prerecorded message calls. On June 11, the FCC’s order was published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register summary is available … Continue Reading

Carrier Change: The Words Matter

Usually without much fanfare, the FCC goes about the business of adjudicating slamming complaints under its TPV rules.  This latest case underscores that the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau continues to strictly enforce the content requirements for confirmation of carrier change orders.  This time, it emphasized that the rules require confirmation of a carrier change, not just … Continue Reading

FCC Opens Proceeding to Expand Do-Not-Call Registry

 As required by a recent act of Congress, the FCC opened a proceeding to create a Do-Not-Call registry to allow public safety answering points ("PSAPs") to register telephone numbers associated with the provision of their emergency telephone services.  Once the registry is established, telemarketers would be prohibited from using automatic telephone dialing systems to place … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Continues to Push to Apply Spoofing Rules to VoIP

As we’ve noted previously, the U.S. Department of Justice has urged the FCC to take an expansive interpretation of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009.  In comments filed last week, the Department continued its effort to have the FCC apply the rules to VoIP providers, including those not subject to any FCC rules today. In … Continue Reading

FCC Takes Enforcement Action in USF, Telemarketing and “Junk Fax” Cases

Last week brought new actions in three of the FCC’s most common enforcement areas:  Failure to pay USF contributions, "robocall" telemarketing violations and "junk fax" solicitations.  One action also is an example of anti-spoofing enforcement by the Commission.  The Commission’s actions are briefly described below.… Continue Reading

FCC Opens Spoofing Proceeding

In response to the passage of anti-spoofing legislation late last year, the FCC recently adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to tighten rules relating to the "spoofing" of caller ID information.  The Commission is seeking comments in late April and early May, which would make it tough for the Commission to meet the legislation’s six-month deadline … Continue Reading
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