What is the TCPA?

If you’re involved in telemarketing, you’ve probably heard of the TCPA, but you might not be clear on what exactly it is or what exactly it does. Cove Law is here to help you get the facts straight!

The TCPA is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It is a law that was passed by Congress in 1991. Its intention was to update the Communications Act of 1934 to protect modern telephone users from harassment, invasion of privacy, and other unwanted communications. 

Does the TCPA regulate voice calls only?

No. The TCPA regulates three things:

  • Voice/audio calls
  • Texts
  • Faxes

What do telemarketers need to know to avoid violating the TCPA?

There are several things you need to know. First, the TCPA limits the use of certain tools telemarketers use to reach more people. These include pre-recorded voice messages, automatic dialing, and SMS and fax use. It also establishes solicitation rules that you must follow when you do not have the customer’s prior consent to contact them. Finally, the TCPA created do-not-call rules. From 1991 through 2003, each company only had to maintain its own do-not-call database, but in 2003 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the National Do Not Call Registry, which all companies must now comply with as well.

What counts as consent to make sales calls to a customer?

To comply with the TCPA, you must get “prior express consent” to contact a customer. This is strictly interpreted and it doesn’t matter if you call the wrong person merely because their number changed — you are still in violation. When you take into consideration that 30% of consumer data is inaccurate and phone numbers are reassigned daily, this can get very difficult very quickly. 

Who can help me with legal issues involving the TCPA?

At Cove Law, we have extensive experience dealing with all of the legal issues that telemarketers face. In fact, our firm has been serving the telemarketing industry for twenty five years. We understand that this industry exists in a challenging regulatory environment and are committed to helping our clients identify and promote best practices. When needed, we can also help you resolve investigations and formal actions. If you’re interested in partnering with us, or if you have further questions about the TCPA, we would love to have a chat with you! You can reach us by calling (954) 921-1121. 

 

Written by Andrew Cove

Cove Law has significant experience defending federal investigations and formal actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Finance Protection Board and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as similar matters on the state level by the respective state Attorney General’s Offices and other local agencies.