Time for Congress to Update the TCPA

September 9, 2019 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

It seems that hardly a week goes by without some court ruling further confusing the issue of when businesses, including financial institutions, are violating the TCPA. What’s more, the courts are as confused as businesses when it comes to what the statute requires. Consequently, I would say that one of the most important things Congress can work on now that its summer recess is over is updating the TCPA.

Let’s face it, as it currently stands, there is just too much confusion about when the statute does and does not apply. On the one hand, we have a ruling by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit clearly stating that it should not be interpreted as extending to phones simply because they have the capacity to auto-dial. On the other hand, there was a ruling months later by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which seems to reach the exact opposite conclusion. Recall Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC.

When this statute was passed by Congress, telemarketing was a meddlesome- bordering on obnoxious- business practice in which low-paid dialers would call people up and try to pitch them on something they really didn’t need. Some of that still exists, and it should be dealt with, but the cell phone is now an integral part of commerce and customers expect that the businesses with which they work will text them and provide them with needed information. This is a development that was inconceivable to the crafters of the TCPA, and with which Congress must now grapple. Its failure to do so is ultimately hurting commerce, and hurting consumers.

 

 

Entry filed under: Compliance, Legal Watch, Regulatory, technology. Tags: , , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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