Category Archives: FCC

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FCC Posts Enforcement Advisory Alerting Businesses of TCPA Text Messaging Rules

The FCC was busy in November.  On November 18, the FCC posted an Enforcement Advisory on robotexting and consumer protection, and on November 21 published a blog on robocalls.  The FCC notes that the Advisory was issued to promote understanding of the clear limitations on the use of autodialed text messages, often referred to as … Continue Reading

Water Drinking Contest Causes Waves at the FCC, Potentially Sinking the Promoter

It has been almost a decade since a water-drinking contest held by an Entercom’s Sacramento radio station resulted in the death of a contestant, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a long memory.  Last week, the FCC issued a Hearing Designation Order (it can be found here) to determine whether the license held by … Continue Reading

The Phone Keeps Ringing . . . But is it a Residential Line and Was an Autodialer Used?

As the weather changes and I reach for the allergy medicine in my bottom desk drawer, I’m reminded of that old proverb, “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”  March winds also bring plenty of pollen and, apparently, a flurry of activity on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) front regarding what constitutes … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Tell Senate to HANGUP on Robocalls

On February 10, a bipartisan coalition of 25 state attorneys general, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation urging passage of the Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls Act of 2015 (the HANGUP Act). The letter should … Continue Reading

Pause, Clicking, and Dead Air – TCPA Autodialers as a Story about Nothing

In Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) autodialer cases, it is important for defendants to put plaintiffs to their evidentiary burden of proving that an autodialer actually was used.  As one recent case discussed below demonstrates, being active on this front and keeping records showing how a company lawfully engages in telemarketing can save time and … Continue Reading

“Show Me” State Shows No Mercy: Missouri AG Files Suit Against Charity Telemarketers

On October 27, 2015, the Missouri Attorney General filed a lawsuit against two telemarketing companies that solicit donations on behalf of charitable organizations in the state, and against the companies’ co-owners.  Regular readers of this blog know that these have been very eventful times for telemarketers, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the breadth of … Continue Reading

Postscript to Luna v. Shac LLC: Human Intervention Still Precludes Finding That Strip Club’s Dialing Platform Constitutes an Autodialer Under the TCPA

Last month, we blogged about the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California’s recent decision entered in Luna v. Shac, LLC, — F. Supp. 3d –, No. 14-cv-00607 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2015), which awarded summary judgment to the defendant-gentleman’s club in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action.  You can read that post … Continue Reading

“There’s a Storm Coming, Mr. Wayne” – FCC Decides to Release Robocall and Telemarketing Consumer Complaints

In the most recent installment of the Batman movie franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway’s character, Selina Kyle, whispers ominously into Bruce Wayne’s ear, “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.  You and your friends better batten down the hatches . . .”  Hathaway was forecasting the onslaught of villains who, shortly thereafter, stormed Gotham … Continue Reading

Hear! Hear! FCC Modernizes Contest Rules for Broadcasters

The days of on-air fast-talking contest announcements are coming to an end.  Last Thursday, the FCC adopted revised rules that allow broadcasters to disclose contest rules on an Internet website, as opposed to reading them over the air.  Prior to this rule change, under the FCC’s “Contest Rule” (47 C.F.R. Section 73.1216), broadcasters that advertised … Continue Reading

Court Holds That Human Intervention Covers Strip Club From Liability in TCPA Autodialer Class Action

On August 19, 2015, in Luna v. SHAC, LLC, No. 5:14-cv-00607 (N.D. Cal.), the Northern District of California issued one of the first decisions interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (“TCPA”) definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (i.e., autodialer) following the FCC’s July 2015 omnibus TCPA order.  Luna may serve as guidepost for future litigants, … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Long-Awaited TCPA Ruling

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its much-anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) declaratory ruling, expanding on the positions announced at its June 18 Open Meeting on important TCPA issues.  The ruling resolves 21 requests for clarification, and, in particular, confirms that an “automatic telephone dialing system” (i.e., an autodialer) includes … Continue Reading

FCC Open Meeting May Open TCPA Class Action Litigation Floodgates . . . Further

For over a year, telemarketers have anxiously awaited clarity on a number of issues relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), including the treatment of reassigned numbers and the definition of “autodialer.”  At the June 18, 2015, Open Meeting held by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) to vote on updates to the … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Proposes Significant Updates to TCPA Rules

After months of speculation and numerous petitions to the agency, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a fact sheet on Wednesday, May 27, addressing two dozen petitions seeking clarity on FCC enforcement of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and proposing significant actions intended to strengthen consumer protections related to unwanted calls and text … Continue Reading

Think You Are Exempt from FTC Jurisdiction? Think Again, Judge Says after Throttling AT&T’s Motion to Dismiss FTC Lawsuit

Last week, a federal judge in the Northern District of California denied AT&T’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s lawsuit against the company concerning its advertising and business practices for its mobile wireless data plans. As we noted last fall, the FTC accused AT&T of misleading millions of its customers by marketing “unlimited” data plans, but … Continue Reading

Some Senators Make an Unsolicited Call to the FCC

It seems as if every few weeks, a new court decision weighs in on how to interpret the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), especially the meaning of “automatic telephone dialing system” (“autodialer”) and “called party.”  Trade associations and telemarketers have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) for clarification, hoping to reduce the compliance burden and … Continue Reading

TCPA Autodialers 101: What Makes an Autodialer and What’s Next from the FCC

Telemarketers are all too aware that automatic telephone dialing systems (“autodialers”) are a hot topic in the litigation world. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, and the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) implementing rules, 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200, prohibit making any autodialed call or text message to cell phones without the called … Continue Reading

Facing the Fax: Always Use Opt-Out Notices for Fax Advertisements (and Seek A Retroactive Waiver, If You Haven’t)

Even in 2014, fax marketing by associations, businesses, and other individuals shows no sign of slowing down.  We have previously noted the significant number of class action lawsuits involving fax advertisements under the Junk Fax Prevention Act (“JFPA”). Now the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is drawing more attention to this less common form of advertising.  … Continue Reading

No Agency, No Claim: Taco Bell and the TCPA’s Vicarious Liability Standard

With the FCC’s recent record fine of $7.5 million against Sprint Corp. for alleged Do-Not-Call violations, the more restrictive prior express written consent rule for marketing calls made to cell phones by an autodialer, and the continuous filing of class action complaints (See TCPA Update for recent filings), it is easy to understand why companies are … Continue Reading

Caller Beware: FCC’s Record “Do-Not-Call” Fine Highlights Liability Under TCPA

Over the past couple of months, we have been waving the caution flag in the air while attempting to warn businesses about the potential liability for violations under the TCPA.  In our previous posts, we noted the numerous consumer lawsuits that have been filed against businesses throughout the country, a list which continues to grow … Continue Reading

A Watchful Eye Toward TCPA Filings

With all of the recent litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), marketers are well aware that making telemarketing calls can be a tricky road to navigate.  In October 2013, the Federal Communication Commission’s (“FCC”) new TCPA rule went into effect, requiring prior express written consent to call consumers for telemarketing purposes— a higher … Continue Reading

Three Things You Should Avoid Doing with Respect to the October 16 FCC Rule Changes for Calling or Texting Cell Phones

For all of you procrastinators out there, we are down to the wire on preparing for the October 16 changes to Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rules that will require “prior express written consent” when an automatic telephone dialing system (autodialer) is used to call or text cell phones for marketing purposes.  “Prior express written consent” … Continue Reading
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