Few things are more infuriating than receiving calls from telemarketers. Their calls were so numerous and disruptive in previous years Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which was designed to put restrictions on when, how, and how often a telemarketer could call a consumer. Part of the problem was also the use of robocalling, or the use of computers to make hundreds of calls throughout the day.
Now, the Republican National Committee (RNC), has thrown its support behind a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission that would allow marketers to auto-dial consumers’ cellphones and leave them prerecorded voicemail messages without causing the phone to ring.
Under TCPA, telemarketers and political groups are not authorized to launch robocall campaigns targeting cell phones unless they first get a consumer’s written consent. However, if the Republican Party gets its way, people who wish to harass you with their products and campaigns can do so without your say so.
Those advocating for this change argue “ringless” voicemails don’t qualify as a phone call to begin with, allowing companies a loophole for sending messages directly to your voicemail. However, according to Margot Freeman Saunders, senior counsel at the National Consumer Law Center, says the deregulation is an “unfortunate push” to reduce protections for cell phones. Also, according to Ms. Saunders, robocalls were partly responsible for the majority of people’s decisions to forgo landlines.
This campaign to deregulate robocalls for cell phones would allow marketing companies to flood people’s voicemail inboxes with countless numbers of messages, which might be a problem for those who have little to no storage capacity for their voicemail.
Currently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is making a decision that would either close the loophole or rule that exploiting the loophole isn’t punishable by law. If companies like the one who began this deliberation, All About the Message LLC, go through with leaving ringless voicemails without an official FCC ruling, they risk facing class-action lawsuits that could be financially disastrous for them.
Part of the reason the RNC has through its weight behind this loophole exploitation is that political organizations such as them use all types of communication methods to send political messages and solicit donations to the American public. When asked for comment, the RNC remained silent on how it previously used robocalls.
For more information about how this chance could affect you, or to begin a case against a harassing company, give our Chicago consumer lawyers a call. Atlas Consumer Law has helped many people obtain justice for violations of the TCPA. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (312) 313-1613 or fill out our online form to schedule an initial consultation today. We look forward to hearing about your situation.