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Federal Communications Commission
July 3, 2003, Released; June 26, 2003, Adopted
CG Docket No. 02-278
Release No. FCC 03-153
1. In this Order, we revise the current Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) 1 rules and adopt new rules to provide consumers with several options for avoiding unwanted telephone solicitations. Specifically, we establish with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a national do-not-call registry for consumers who wish to avoid unwanted telemarketing calls. The national do-not-call registry will supplement the current company-specific do-not-call rules for those consumers who wish to continue requesting that particular companies not call them. To address the more prevalent use of predictive dialers, we have determined that a telemarketer may abandon no more than three percent of calls answered by a person and must deliver a prerecorded identification message when abandoning a call. The new rules will also require all companies conducting telemarketing [**2] to transmit caller identification (caller ID) information, when available, and prohibits them from blocking such information. The Commission has revised its earlier determination that an established [*2] business relationship constitutes express invitation or permission to receive an unsolicited fax, and we have clarified when fax broadcasters are liable for the transmission of unlawful facsimile advertisements. We believe the rules the Commission adopts here strike an appropriate balance between maximizing consumer privacy protections and avoiding imposing undue burdens on telemarketers.
2. It has now been over ten years since the Commission adopted a broad set of rules that respond to Congress's directives in the TCPA. Over the last decade, the telemarketing industry has undergone significant changes in the technologies and methods used to contact consumers. The Commission has carefully reviewed the record developed in this rulemaking proceeding. The [**3] record confirms that these marketplace changes warrant modifications to our existing rules, and adoption of new rules if consumers are to continue to [*3] receive the protections that Congress intended to provide when it enacted the TCPA. The number of telemarketing calls has risen steadily; the use of predictive dialers has proliferated; and consumer frustration with unsolicited telemarketing calls continues despite the efforts of the states, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 2 and the company-specific approach to the problem. Consumers often feel frightened, threatened, and harassed by telemarketing calls. They are angered by hang-ups and "dead air" calls, by do-not-call requests that are not honored, and by unsolicited fax advertisements. Many consumers who commented in this proceeding "want something done" about unwanted solicitation calls, and the vast majority of them support the establishment of a national do-not-call registry. Congress, too, has responded by enacting the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act (Do-Not-Call Act), 3 authorizing the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and directing this Commission to issue final rules in its second major TCPA [**4] proceeding that maximize consistency with those of the FTC.
3. The Commission recognizes that telemarketing is a legitimate method of selling goods and services, and that many consumers value the savings and convenience it provides. Thus, the national do-not-call registry that we adopt here will only apply to outbound telemarketing calls and will only include the telephone numbers of consumers who indicate that they wish to avoid such calls. Consumers who want to receive such calls may instead continue to rely on the company-specific do-not-call lists to manage telemarketing calls into their homes. Based on Congress's directives in the TCPA and the Do-Not-Call Act, the substantial record developed in this proceeding, and on the Commission's own enforcement experience, we adopt these [**5] amended rules, as described in detail below.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
18 FCC Rcd 14014 *; 2003 FCC LEXIS 3673 **; 29 Comm. Reg. (P & F) 830
In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 17 F.C.C.R. 17459, 2002 FCC LEXIS 4578 (F.C.C., Sept. 18, 2002)
consumers, telemarketing, do-not-call, messages, fax, database, advertisements, registry, exemption, customers, telephone solicitation, entities, established business, numbers, telephone, carriers, regulations, prerecorded, telephone number, facsimile, wireless, subscribers, company-specific, seller, predictive, unsolicited, register, abandonment, dialers, technologies