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Consumer group comments to the FCC regarding exemptions under the TCPA

National Consumer Law Center on behalf of its low-income clients, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, EPIC, and National Association of Consumer Advocates submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding exemptions implemented under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. We applaud the Commission’s proposal to provide consumers with the right to opt out of all exempted prerecorded calls. The Commission is required by the TRACED Act to establish numerical limits for all exempted calls, and we recommend that the numerical limit for prerecorded calls to a residential line that are exempted from the requirement for consent be limited as follows:

  • Transactional calls that are related to debt collection should be limited to three calls per thirty days per person called.
  • Other transactional calls to confirm or complete a transaction that the called party has initiated, the limit should be two calls per action that the called party needs to take.
  • Prerecorded calls that are designed simply to provide information should be limited to one call per event.
  • Prerecorded calls by or on behalf of nonprofit organizations should be limited to one call per year.
  • Prerecorded healthcare calls to residential landlines should be limited in the same manner as that unconsented-to healthcare calls can be made to wireless numbers, as promulgated in
    the 2015 Omnibus Order.
  • The current numerical limits on unconsented-to calls to cell phones should be retained.
  • Additionally, we urge the Commission to not expand healthcare calls to wireless numbers beyond the current exemptions as provided in the proposed new regulation.

Finally, we support the proposal to codify the exemptions by adding them to 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200. Codifying the exemptions will make it easier for callers, consumers, attorneys, legislators, and enforcement officials to find them, so it will increase compliance.