Thomas K. McKnight - Telephone Consumer Protection in Tustin, California
In an effort to address a growing number of telephone marketing calls, Congress passed in 1991 the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricts the making of telemarketing calls as well as the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The rules apply to common carriers as well as to other marketers. In 1992, the Commission adopted guidelines to implement the TCPA, including the requirement that entities making telephone solicitations institute procedures for keeping company-specific do-not-call lists.
Most recently, in 2012, the FCC revised its TCPA regulations to require telemarketers (1) to obtain prior express written authorization from individuals before robocalling them, (2) to no longer allow telemarketers to use an "established business relationship" to avoid getting permission from individuals when their home phones, and (3) to require telemarketers to offer an automated, interactive "opt-out" mechanism during each robocall so consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to quit calling.
Previously, in 2003, the FCC modified its TCPA rules 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 certain 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 decrease the number of hang-up and dead air calls individuals experience, the Commission's telemarketing regulations also include restrictions on the use of autodialers and requirements for transferring caller ID information.
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