As we recently previewed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its Proposed Rule that would codify its updated guidance on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA regulates calls and text messages sent using automated technology and is frequently litigated. Below are the major proposed rule changes on which the FCC seeks comment.
New “Reasonable” Standard for Revoking Consent
The FCC proposed allowing consumers to revoke consent “in any reasonable way.” This includes texting “stop,” “revoke,” “end,” or “opt out.” Callers and texters would not be able to narrow the scope of how consumers could revoke consent. An attempt to revoke would create a presumption against the sender, absent contrary evidence. Consumers could revoke via text, voicemail, or email to any telephone number or email address at which the consumer can reasonably expect to reach the sender.
Shorter 24-Hour Compliance Time Frame
Current FCC rules do not specify when a company must honor a revocation request. Under the Proposed Rule, a request must be honored within 24 hours of receipt. The agency is also scrutinizing and requesting comments on the current exemptions for package delivery communications and proposed that any revocation request be honored immediately.
Confirmation Text Messages
The Proposed Rule would allow companies to send a one-time confirmation text message to confirm a consumer’s revocation request, as long as it contains no marketing or promotional material. Importantly, this would apply to all communications from the company, and no response is interpreted as affirmation of revocation.
Narrowing Exemptions for Wireless Carriers
Wireless carriers would no longer have a blanket exemption from obtaining consent from their cellular subscribers if they were not charged. Instead, the FCC would create a qualified exemption if the carrier meets certain conditions.
Interested parties have until July 31, 2023 to submit comments and until August 14 for replies.