Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Responds to FCC’s Notice of Inquiry re: Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls

CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Second Notice of Inquiry on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.   

Compliance concerns under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for calling reassigned numbers were exacerbated by the FCC's July 2015 Order. The Order makes clear that callers can make only one call under a safe harbor before they are considered to have actual or constructive knowledge that the number was reassigned. The one-call safe harbor does not account for the dozens of reasons it may not be possible to connect with the new holder of the number in one attempt.  

The letter gives background on why it's important for credit unions and their members-owners to communicate. As anyone who has worked in a credit union would know, communication with members is vitally important to both the member and the credit union as a whole. The ambiguous requirements for calling reassigned numbers has the possibility of chilling these important communications. 

In its letter CUNA points out that credit union communications are mostly informational and the target audience consists of credit union member-owners.  Despite the limited, informational nature of their communications, credit unions nonetheless find themselves the target of TCPA litigation.   

The letter outlines why a recurring concern is reassigned numbers. Like telephone consumers generally, credit union members frequently change their contact numbers that were provided to the credit union, and do not necessarily think to immediately inform the credit union of the change. The credit union may then call the number to provide information without any knowledge that the number has been reassigned, potentially exposing it and its member-owners to liability.  

The letter details CUNA’s position on reassigned numbers and goes into further detail on the points below. 

  • The Development of a Database is Laudable, But Cannot Substitute for Rectifying the Current Unreasonable Reassigned Numbers Rules 

  • The Commission Should Establish a National FCC-Supervised Database that is Comprehensive, Readily Accessible, Timely and Affordable 

  • The Commission Should Create a Workable Safe Harbor 

CUNA supports the Commission’s initiative to create a reassigned number database and urges the Commission to establish a workable safe harbor for entities that use the database. In the meantime, CUNA urges the Commission promptly to revise the current reassigned numbers rules.