The TCPA, also known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, has recently made some changes to its outbound dialing legislation and consumer protection regulations.
The TCPA was created and passed into law back in 1991. The legislation allowed for the Federal Communications Commission to implement rules and enforce any other regulations from the TCPA. Simply put, the TCPA was designed under the Bush administration to help restrict telephone call solicitations. You know, the calls most people hang up on – those automatic dialers, pre-recorded messages, and other such calls.
If a consumer wanted to opt-out of these calls, they were able to by adding their phone numbers to a do not call list (which was valid for five years). Additionally, the calls were prohibited before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time, prohibited unsolicited faxing, autodialing that would call two or more lines of a business, and if any of the rules were violated, the TCPA said a subscriber may sue for $1,500 for each violation.
However, some of the rules are going to change. The FCC (News - Alert) has allowed for additional protections for consumers after approving an order on Feb. 15 of last year. Now, beginning October 16, 2013, prior written consent will be required for all autodialed and/or prerecorded calls made to residential land lines for marketing purposes. This includes text messages, calls to cell phones, and even faxes.
Additionally, established business relationships (except for pre-recorded telemarketing calls) will be eliminated. Meaning, just because you bought something from Best Buy (News - Alert) doesn’t mean a third-party company can call you based off of that purchase and recommend something else for you over the phone.
These new rules are going to change the way call centers are able to handle outgoing calls to consumers. However, some centers are already ahead of the game with applications such as LeadiD’s TCPA app. This will allow centers to know who has already given the okay before the calls are made.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson