Thomas K. McKnight LLP - Telephone Consumer Protection Act in Santa Ana
In an attempt to manage an increasing number of telephone marketing calls, Congress passed in 1991 the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricts the making of telemarketing phone calls as well as using automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The policies apply to common carriers as well as to other marketers. In 1992, the Commission adopted guidelines to carry out the TCPA, including the requirement that companies making telephone solicitations institute procedures for maintaining company-specific do-not-call lists.
Most recently, in 2012, the FCC revised its TCPA policies to require telemarketers (1) to obtain prior express written permission from consumers before robocalling them, (2) to no longer permit telemarketers to use an "established business relationship" to avoid getting permission from individuals when their home phones, and (3) to require telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive "opt-out" mechanism during each robocall so individuals can instantly tell the telemarketer to quit calling.
Earlier, in 2003, the FCC revised its TCPA regulations to develop, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a national Do-Not-Call registry. The national registry is nationwide in scope, covers all telemarketers (with the exception of some nonprofit organizations), and applies to both interstate and intrastate phone calls. The registry took effect on October 1, 2003, and is overseen by the FTC. To reduce the number of hang-up and dead air calls individuals experience, the Commission's telemarketing regulations also include limitations on using autodialers and requirements for transferring caller ID information.