WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is urging dealers to review their telephone and text marketing practices to ensure that they are in line with the Federal Communications Commission's omnibus ruling and order regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Issued on Friday, the ruling will affect a number of areas related to “autodialed” and pre-recorded telephone calls. Among the changes that could affect dealers, the NADA said this week, is the TCPA’s interpretation of the term “automatic telephone dialing system,” which encompasses “any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers.”
“The interpretation and several others in the order could require changes in dealers’ telephone and text messaging practices,” the NADA warned. “Dealers should review those practices and the system used to make calls and send text messages in light of these changes, and should consult with councel to ensure compliance with the new rulings."
Dialing equipment that simply has the capacity to store or produce as well as dial random or sequential numbers would meet the TCPA’s definition of an autodialer. Predictive dialers also meet the definition of autodialer.
“Dialing equipment generally has the capacity to store or produce, and dial random or sequential numbers (and thus meets the TCPA’s definition of ‘autodialer’), even if it is not presently used for that purpose,” the commission said.
The ruling also puts the burden on the calling party to prove it obtained prior express consent should questions arise. It also requires that consent be obtained from the subscriber of the phone service, not the intended recipient of the call.
For telemarketing calls, prior-express-written consent requirements apply for each call made to a wireless number, rather than to a series of calls to wireless numbers made as part of a marketing campaign.
The commission also clarified whether telemarketers may make autodialed or prerecorded message calls to a wireless number that was initially linked to a wireline service. “Porting a telephone number from wireline service to wireless service does not revoke prior express consent,” the commission said. “If the consumer who gave consent to be called and later porter his wireline to wirless no longer wishes to be called because he may incur charges on his wireless number, it is the consumer’s prerogative and responsibility to revoke the consent.”
To review the FCC’s ruling, click here.