Category Archives: Telemarketing

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Predictive Dialer Prediction Comes True: Court Rules that ACA International Vacated Previous FCC Predictive Dialer Decisions and Holds that Predictive Dialers are Not Autodialers Under the TCPA

Technology is present in nearly everything we do and not only in the form of a smartphone. Now, when people brush their teeth, turn on the car, or tune an instrument, there’s likely some form of digital technology at work. With all of these activities, it can be unclear when the user is manually performing … Continue Reading

Slimming Down: Second and Third Circuits Construe TCPA Autodialer Definition Narrowly But Still Grapple With Its Contours

Late June was busy in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation world, with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits weighing in on an issue that arises all the time with the TCPA – what is and is not an autodialer. As readers of this blog know, earlier this year … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on TCPA After D.C. Circuit Ruling

The FCC is going back to the drawing board—and it wants some help. Earlier this week, the Commission announced that it is seeking comments “on several issues related to interpretation and implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), following the recent decision” of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in ACA … Continue Reading

Court to Agency: Is That Your Final Answer on Soundboard Technology?

In a blow to the soundboard industry, the D.C. Circuit recently ruled in Soundboard Association v. FTC, No. 1:17-cv-00150 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 27, 2018) that the Federal Trade Commission’s November 2016 opinion letter, which reclassified soundboard technology as “robocalls” under the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), is not subject to judicial review. We previously blogged about … Continue Reading

Start Replying with “STOP”

We blogged in February about Epps v. Earth Fare, in which the Central District Court of California dismissed a lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the plaintiff revoked her consent to receive text messages in an unreasonable manner. In that case, the plaintiff attempted to unsubscribe from further messages—in which case additional … Continue Reading

This Argument Is No Longer in Service: Did FCC and FTC Drop the Issue of Reassigned Numbers as a Solution to Robocalls?

On March 23, 2018, the FCC and FTC hosted a joint forum to discuss the issue of robocalls. Consisting of three panels and remarks from key leadership of both agencies, the event marked a significant step in agency cooperation to mitigate consumer frustration from unwanted calls. The panels focused on three issues: (1) challenges facing … Continue Reading

Another TCPA Decision Involving Nonprofits Results in Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Claims

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has been making news of late, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s partial rejection of a Federal Communications Commission rulemaking grabbing most of the headlines. We reported on that here. It is understandable that the D.C. Circuit’s decision has captured the attention of telemarketers … Continue Reading

Florida Delivers Message to Telemarketers: No Unsolicited Ringless Voicemails Starting July 1, 2018

It’s been a busy few weeks with respect to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), with recent decisions handed down by the D.C. Circuit in ACA International v. FCC and the Ninth Circuit in Romero v. Department Stores National Bank further shaping the contours of the federal law. However, lest we forget, states have … Continue Reading

March Madness: Long-Awaited D.C. Circuit Decision Strikes Down Parts of the FCC’s 2015 Omnibus TCPA Order

After keeping us waiting for nearly a year and a half after oral argument in October 2016, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week weighed in on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Omnibus Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Order, which we previously summarized. The court was … Continue Reading

TCPA Plaintiffs Standing Tall After Ninth Circuit Decision

We recently blogged about the possibility of courts limiting serial litigants’ standing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) based on them not falling within the statute’s “zone of interest” and, thus, not having standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Nate Silver’s job clearly isn’t threatened by our predictive blog posts, because in … Continue Reading

Dose of Relief for Healthcare Entities: Second Circuit Finds Hospital Had Sufficient Consent Under the TCPA

Some people really do not like being told to get a flu shot and, in Latner v. Mount Sinai Health System, Inc., 2018 WL 265085 (2d Cir. amended decision Jan. 9, 2018), a man sued his hospital over it. Well, not exactly. Plaintiff Daniel Latner claimed that a text message sent by a third party … Continue Reading

Telemarketing by Charity Fundraisers Remains an FTC Enforcement Priority

The FTC’s Northwest Regional Office has, for decades, led federal law enforcement efforts to investigate and shut down alleged fraud in the charity fundraising industry (state attorneys general are even more active in this space, as we’ve noted in previous writings). While the Northwest Region was somewhat active in the 1990s and early 2000s, its … Continue Reading

The Joint (And Several Liability) is Jumpin’

We wrote previously that for payment processors the death of Operation Choke Point was greatly exaggerated.  We also noted that a prior challenge to the FTC’s ability to impose joint and several liability on an executive for his former employer’s actions had failed. A recent appellate victory for the FTC reinforces both these points.  In … Continue Reading

One Vote for a TCPA Violation? Campaign Robocalls During Recent Elections Draw Ire

The midterm elections are just around the corner, and with them could come a host of potential Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) concerns if recent history is any indication.  The TCPA places restrictions on, among other things, robocalls and automated text messages, both of which often are used by political campaigns seeking votes or donations.  … Continue Reading

In Landmark Decision, Court Defines the Contours of the Tax-Exempt Nonprofit Exception to the TCPA

As previously discussed on this blog, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits “telephone solicitations” to numbers listed on the National Do-Not-Call list (NDNC). There is a rarely litigated exception to the TCPA’s do-not-call provisions, however, for calls placed by or on behalf of tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations. On October 11, 2017, in Spiegel v. Reynolds, … Continue Reading

For Every Action There Is an Equal and Opposite Reaction: Study Finds That TCPA Litigation Boomed Following the FCC’s July 2015 Order

In July 2015, a divided Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its omnibus Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Order, which modified and ostensibly “clarified” numerous aspects of the TCPA, such as expanding the definition of “automatic telephonic dialing system” (more commonly referred to as autodialer) and concluding that consumer consent to receive calls may be revoked … Continue Reading

Summer of Sequels: The FTC Joins the FCC in Releasing Consumer Complaints Regarding Purported Robocalls and Do Not Call Violations

Summer 2017 has seen and will see some well-publicized releases of sequels, remakes, and reboots: Ridley Scott’s Alien Covenant; Johnny Depp back in his starring role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; Stephen King’s It; and the latest installments in The Mummy, Transformers, and Spider Man series, to name a … Continue Reading

If a Call Is Made From the Woods and Nobody’s Around To Receive it, Is it a TCPA Violation?: Ringless Voicemail FCC Petition Post-Script

Am I crazy? Did my phone ring? These questions may have crossed your mind during that moment when you look down at the top left corner of your cell phone and see the universal icon for new voicemail. Many marketers are now using or considering using ringless voicemail technology, or Direct-to-Voicemail cell messaging, to leave … Continue Reading

“Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!”: Second Circuit Rules That Parties May Contractually Agree that TCPA Consent is Not Revocable

Can a seller contractually prohibit a customer from revoking his or her consent to receive autodialed and/or pre-recorded message calls under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)? According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the answer is “yes.” On June 22, 2017, in Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, No. 16-2104 … Continue Reading

Student Loan Market in FTC’s Cross Hairs

Lots of folks were wondering whether at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it was “School’s Out” with a shortage of Commissioners and a new administration in the White House. A recent case involving the telemarketing of student loan debt relief services makes clear that, at least in certain areas, school is still in session. The … Continue Reading

Spinning Gold Into Straw: FTC Obtains a Court Order Requiring the Sale of Defendant’s Home

Some marketers move to Florida believing that the state’s constitutional Homestead Act protects their house from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) grasp. A recent case shows that the FTC may not share that belief, and a federal judge recently agreed with the FTC. Sam J. Goldman tried looking for gold, but it didn’t pan out. … Continue Reading
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