Will “Reason” Be Restored to TCPA Regulation? Not Anytime Soon, It Seems
Last Thursday, the FCC appeared before the Senate in a hearing titled “Oversight of the FCC.” The senate wanted to commend the efforts and reforms the FCC has made since their reauthorization, and to address challenges and hurdles that they see as priority for the FCC to address as well.
“Consumers must have meaningful rights to control who can call them using automated calling technology. We must also ensure that those trying in good faith to comply with the law in reaching their patients and customers have a reasonable means of doing so without facing potentially devastating litigation,” said Chairman John Thune as part of his opening remarks.
That in itself is a revolutionary statement that could indicate movement towards more ‘reasonable’ regulations. This is especially encouraging for those who have taken steps towards compliant practice. Agencies who employ a compliance officer, are conscious about call dispositions, etc. should take heart based on this.
Still No Word
Though there were a few topics related to the scope of the TCPA, no definitive statements were made that would indicate meaningful change happening anytime soon.
One senator introduced his legislation that would require phone companies to provide its customers with free tools to block robocalls. He asked commissioners to review the legislation and let him know whether they would support it. Another senator questioned the FCC’s efforts to ensure robust protection for consumers. Chairman Pai reinforced the FCC’s rigorous policies in enforcing regulations. Despite the topic grazing, there was no indication as to when consumers and collectors alike could expect a ruling on the post-ACA Int’l case. As you might remember, back in May, the FCC formally began to seek guidance on its 2015 ACA Int’l Omnibus ruling. As part of the process, they were said to be re-considering the definition of an ATDS.
Although there was no formal notification of real change happening, there are still indications that it could be coming. So stay tuned, and for a full transcript of the hearing, click here.