It is important to distinguish between robocalls and legitimate businesses seeking to communicate with their customers, CUNA and other organizations wrote to Senate Commerce Committee leadership. The letter was sent for the record for the committee’s Wednesday hearing on robocalls.
"Many businesses call or text their customers in an effort to communicate time-sensitive, critical information, such as low balance notifications, due date reminders, and fee avoidance alerts. Unfortunately, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), while established to help curb the frequency of fraudulent and illegal robocalls, has had the unintended consequence of stifling our ability to better serve and communicate with our customers.
The letter notes the March decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that vacated portions of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 TCPA ruling.
“It is critical the FCC seizes this opportunity to provide greater clarity on what constitutes an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) which we use to contact consenting customers, and how to deal with unwanted liability stemming from frequently reassigned numbers,” the letter reads. “Clear and more reasonable definitions of an ATDS and a solution to the reassigned number conundrum would help to ensure businesses can provide beneficial communications to their customers without the threat of costly litigation driven by serial plaintiffs and attorneys who have taken advantage of the current rules.”
The organizations urge the Senate Commerce Committee to encourage the FCC to take prompt action and to continue its efforts to explore the use of a reassigned numbers database that provides a safe harbor for businesses looking to comply with the law.