CUNA to FCC: Simplify the definition of an autodialer

October 18, 2018


CONTACT: Lauren Williams – CUNA Communications; (202) 626-7642;  

Washington, D.C. (October 18, 2018) – Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to oppose broadening the definition of an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS). CUNA wrote in response to the FCC’s petition requesting comment in light of a Ninth Circuit court decision.  

In the final ruling of Marks vs. Crunch San Diego, LLC the court decided that an ATDS only have the capacity to dial stored numbers as a list to qualify as an autodialier, which is limited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). CUNA has expressed several concerns about the TCPA’s impact on credit unions who need to contact their members with important information.  

“The result of the Ninth Circuit’s erroneous analysis is a definition of ATDS that provides little meaningful guidance to callers and is untethered from the TCPA’s text and purpose. Compounding this interpretational affront is the fact that the Marks decision possibly sweeps in every smartphone—potentially subjecting nearly all American consumers to TCPA liability for their routine calls and texts.” 

CUNA believes equipment that only equipment that dials numbers from lists does not qualify as an ATDS. The trade association also called on the FCC to “confirm that human intervention in the calling process disqualifies a device from being an ATDS.  

“To further clarify the reach of the TCPA, the Commission should also conclude that the TCPA only applies to calls or texts that are made using a device’s autodialing functionality,” the comments add. “Properly defining an ATDS—according the TCPA’s text and Congressional intent—will substantially reduce uncertainty and help mitigate the onslaught of TCPA litigation.” 

CUNA submitted a petition earlier this year calling for an FCC ruling on the definition of autodialer. 


About CUNA       
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 110 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit