Credit Union Forms: Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
By way of background the TCPA became law back in 1991, at which time its primary purpose was to protect consumers from telemarketers that did not have a pre-existing business relationship. That is to say that the initial iteration of the TCPA exempted callers from its requirements as long as they had a pre-existing business relationship. For example, a credit union that conducted a telemarketing campaign to its [own] members would have been exempt from the TCPA. Due to amendments to the original TCPA, along with declaratory rulings issued by the Federal Communications Commission, the pre-existing business relationship exemption was eliminated and its application has been narrowed such that some callers may now fall under the auspices of the TCPA due to their internal business practices.
Presently, callers that contact consumers at a cellular or wireless number for telemarketing purposes using an automated predictive dialing system or artificial or pre-recorded voice, must obtain prior express written consent. In contrast, the written aspect does not apply to non-marketing contacts and the caller need only obtain prior express consent for these types of contacts. Manually dialed calls [that is to say that no automated predictive dialing system or artificial or pre-recorded voice is used] for non-marketing purposes do not require prior consent. In addition, manually dialed calls for marketing purposes do not require prior consent provided the consumer has not placed his/her telephone number on the “Do Not Call List.”
Callers that contact consumers at a residential line face similar yet different requirements. For example, only calls made for telemarketing purposes using an artificial or pre-recorded voice must obtain prior express written consent. No consent requirement applies to calls using an automated predictive dialing system, or manually dialed calls (except to the extent that prior consent would be required for marketing calls if the consumer has placed their telephone number on the “Do Not Call List”).
While it is likely that the vast majority of Oak Tree's clients will not need to concern themselves with the prior express requirements [written or otherwise], only the client will know for sure. For that reason, Oak Tree is in the process of developing a stand-alone disclosure that would address the: (i) express written requirement; (ii) express requirement; and (iii) for good measure, a general consent to contact provision.
To read similar articles please visit Oak Tree Business Systems, Inc. Winter 2016 Advantage – A Look Into 2016.
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