Legislators and witnesses expressed many of the same concerns with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that CUNA has raised, showing how the act is in need of modernization. The TCPA was enacted in 1991, when most consumers had only a landline, and many members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology agreed that it needs to be modernized.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the subcommittee, called the TCPA a “a prime example of an outdated law that lags behind modern communications technology and consumer preferences.”
CUNA wrote to the committee before the hearing, outlining a number of concerns and calling for Congress to act on what CUNA believes is Federal Communications Commission overreach.
Rep. Robert Latta (R-Ohio) raised the concern that CUNA has highlighted to the FCC and Congress, that the FCC’s definition of “autodialer” is not clear, and is currently leading to confusion about who must comply.
CUNA raised this point in its letter, saying that without clarifications to the definition it is not clear what is even considered an autodialer and whether credit unions are using one.
Witnesses Michelle Turano, vice president of government affairs for WellCare; and Shaun Mock, CFO of Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corp., an electric cooperative, also echoed CUNA concerns about the need to communicate with consumers on their cell phone, and provided numerous examples of how consumers need to be contacted by certain businesses with important information.
CUNA has raised that point in its numerous letters on the TCPA, saying credit unions need to be able to contact members with important account updates, and information about fraud or data breaches.
CUNA also pointed to recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau statements, where bureau staff have urged institutions to take advantage of technological advancements in communications to ensure consumers have the information they need.