The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to further tighten and to codify in its rules various Commission declaratory rulings on TCPA consent requirements that are applicable to autodialed calls and texts, and pre-recorded/artificial voice calls to wireless numbers, and certain pre-recorded/artificial voice calls to residential numbers. The proposed rule changes would also make it easier for consumers to revoke consent under the TCPA. Among the many proposals, the NPRM proposes the following additions to its TCPA-related rules:
Require that callers and texters respect company-specific do-not-call and revocation-of-consent requests, within 24 hours of receipt.
Allow consumers to revoke consent through any “reasonable means”, including codifying certain text back revocations of consent (such as “STOP” or a similar text message), and creating a rebuttable presumption that the use of text messages, voicemails, or emails to any telephone number or email address at which the consumer can reasonably expect to reach the caller, revokes consent.
Permit texters to send a one-time confirmation message of a consumer’s revocation of consent, including seeking clarification, where a consumer has opted into multiple texting programs with the sender, whether the revocation applies to all such messages. Under the proposed rule, the revocation confirmation text may not include other marketing or promotional information. Also, if the consumer does not respond to a clarification request in the confirmation as to the texting program to which the revocation applies, the sender must cease all further texting activity.
Require wireless providers to honor their customers’ opt-out requests from receiving auto-dialed calls and texts, and pre-recorded/artificial voice calls to their wireless numbers (which currently, are exempted from TCPA consent requirements).
Collectively, these proposed rules, if adopted, would codify in the FCC’s rules a number of key changes to the TCPA consent and opt-out process applicable to both informational/transactional and marketing/promotional calling and messaging, and should be closely tracked.
Comments on the NPRM are due 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred, and reply comments are due 45 days after Federal Register publication.