June 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 172

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June 18, 2021

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Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing On TCPA’s Effects On Consumers And Businesses

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, convened a full committee hearing yesterday titled “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act at 25: Effects on Consumers and Business.”  Witnesses at the two-hour hearing included the Attorney General of Indiana and representatives of the U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform, the National Consumer Law Center, and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management.  Chairman Thune opened the hearing with the following observations:

As a result of TCPA, a number of abusive and disruptive telemarketing practices have been significantly reduced or eliminated…. But, TCPA is also showing its age, and there are opportunities to build on its consumer benefits while also ensuring consumers fully benefit from modern communications.

Consumers should be able to take advantage of new technologies that help them avoid falling victim to unscrupulous actors and those callers who ignore “do not call” requirements….  But, our discussion today is not only about policing abusive and harassing practices and stopping bad actors.  We must also acknowledge that most businesses are trying to do the right thing and play by the rules, and we need to understand whether TCPA is inadvertently hurting the good actors and consumers.

The balance forged decades ago may now be missing the mark, and consumers may be missing the benefits of otherwise reasonable and legitimate business practices….  Ultimately, finding the right balance is essential to protecting the privacy of consumers while making sure they have reasonable access to the information they want and need, and making sure good faith business actors can reasonably assess the cost of doing business.

Although it remains to be seen whether the hearing will result in remedial legislative action, the Committee’s willingness to take up the issue is certainly a step in the right direction, and stands in stark contrast with the bill that Senator Schumer introduced last year, which would have subjected certain commercial calls to criminal penalties.

© 2021 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 140
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About this Author

Michael Daly, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Philadelphia, Litigation and Retail Attorney
Partner

Michael P. Daly defends class actions and other complex litigation matters, handles appeals in state and federal courts across the country, and counsels clients on maximizing the defensibility of their marketing and enforceability of their contracts. A recognized authority on class action and consumer protection litigation, he often speaks, comments, and writes on recent decisions and developments in the class action arena. He is also a founder of the firm’s TCPA Team; the senior editor of the TCPA Blog, which provides important information and insight...

215-988-2604
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