Flaws present in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) implementation of the Budget Act mirror the flaws of the agency’s July 2015 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) order, CUNA wrote Wednesday. CUNA submitted comments on a petition for reconsideration for the August 2016 report and order implementing the Budget Act, which provides exemptions from the TCPA for debts owed to or guaranteed by the federal government.
“Unfortunately, the rules adopted by the FCC are contrary to Congress’s intent and are unsupported by the plain language of the statute and the record in this proceeding,” CUNA wrote. “The fatal flaws in the FCC’s rule implementing the Budget Act mirror the fatal flaws of the July 2015 TCPA Order on a broader scale as it applies to all businesses and financial institutions communicating with consumers on their cell phones.”
The letter adds that the FCC’s interpretation of the TCPA shows a fundamental lack understanding of the need to communicate with consumers in a timely and efficient manner.
CUNA also believes the limit on the number of calls in its rule frustrates the intent of Congress in passing the changes in the Budget Act. Specifically, limiting the exemption to include only 3 calls per month does little to improve communications with consumers, as does unnecessarily impeding the ability to call reassigned numbers.
In its letter, CUNA urged the FCC to reconsider the following in its rule:
CUNA also pushed the FCC to reconsider the July 2015 TCPA order in its entirety and reevaluate whether a more appropriate interpretation of the TCPA could protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, while still allowing consumers to receive timely communications from their credit union and other community financial institutions.
For addition details, see CUNA's Removing Barriers Blog.