Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Files Reply Comments to the Federal Communications Commission on Autodialer Issues
Posted October 25, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to seek clarity on several issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to help reduce confusion for credit unions trying to comply with the law. In its reply comments filed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Thursday, CUNA highlighted several credit unions and leagues emphasizing the critical importance of a narrow definition of an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS).  

CUNA filed its original comment letter last week in response to a petition issued by the FCC following a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court saying that an ATDS need only have the capacity to dial stored numbers as a list to qualify as an autodialer. The overly broad definition of an autodialer in the TCPA creates uncertainty over credit unions’ ability to contact members with important account information.  

This week’s filing from the trade association highlights comments submitted from: 

     -Louisiana Credit Union League, which highlighted that credit union-member communications are “more than just a method of business communication, and that credit unions enjoy a special relationship with their member-owners, who expect their credit unions to share important information and to communicate effectively; 

     -Ohio Credit Union League, which noted that defining that ATDS as Congress initially intended will help lift the threat of litigation against credit unions seeking to communicate effectively and efficiently with their members; 

     -Wisconsin Credit Union League, which highlighted how credit unions seek to restore the balance Congress originally intended between protecting consumers from repetitive and ill-timed unsolicited telemarketing calls and preserving the ability of businesses to communicate with their members or customers; 

     -Patelco CU, Pleasanton, Calif., which said overly broad interpretations inhibit efficient calling technologies and impose unnecessary procedures and costs on credit unions and other companies communicating with their customers; and  

     -Sun East FCU, Aston, Pa., noted that uncertainty over the definition of ATDS creates doubt among some credit unions that even manual dialing to establish a live communication would run afoul of the TCPA’s autodialing calling restrictions.