On June 9, 2023, the FCC released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on strengthening consumer consent for robocalls and robotexts under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The item was adopted at the June Open Meeting. The NPRM seeks comment on the following:
- Revoking Consent in Any Reasonable Way: the FCC proposes to codify its 2015 ruling that confirmed that consumers who have provided prior express consent can revoke such consent through any reasonable manner that clearly expresses a desire not to receive further calls or messages and that callers may not require consumers to use an exclusive means to revoke consent that precludes the use of any other reasonable method.
- Timeframe for Honoring a Do-Not-Call or Revocation Request: the FCC proposes to require that callers honor a company-specific do-not-call or revocation-of-consent requests for robocalls and robotexts subject to the TCPA within 24 hours of receipt.
- Revocation Confirmation Text Message: the FCC proposes to codify its prior Soundbite Declaratory Ruling that it is not a violation of the TCPA to send a one-time text message confirming a consumer’s request that no further text messages be sent as long as the confirmation text merely confirms the called party’s opt-out request and does not include any marketing or promotional information, and the text is the only additional message sent to the called party after receipt of the opt-out request.
- Wireless Carrier Calls to Subscribers: The FCC proposes to eliminate the blanket TCPA exemption for wireless providers that allows them to contact their subscribers without prior express consent using autodialed, prerecorded voice, artificial voice calls, and autodialed texts, provided that the caller was not charged for the call. Specifically, under the FCC’s new proposal, a wireless provider is required to have prior-express consent to contact its subscribers using an autodialer or prerecorded voice, unless the following conditions are met:
- voice calls and text messages are initiated by a wireless service provider only to an existing subscriber of that wireless service provider at a number maintained by the wireless service provider
- voice calls and text messages must state the name and contact information of the wireless provider (for voice calls, these disclosures must be made at the beginning of the call)
- voice calls and text messages must not include any telemarketing, solicitation, or advertising
- voice calls and text messages must be concise, generally one minute or less in length for voice calls or 160 characters or less in length for text messages
- a wireless service provider may initiate a maximum of three voice calls or text messages during any 30-day period
- a wireless service provider must offer recipients within each message an easy means to opt out of future such messages; voice calls that could be answered by a live person must include an automated, interactive voice- and/or key press-activated opt-out mechanism that enables the call recipient to make an opt-out request prior to terminating the call; voice calls that could be answered by an answering machine or voice mail service must include a toll-free number that the consumer can call to opt out of future calls; text messages must inform recipients of the ability to opt out by replying “STOP”
- a wireless service provider must honor opt-out requests immediately
Comments will be due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
Reply comments will be due 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
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