Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Impact

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 before cell phones were commonly used. The law is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and governs communications when using an autodialer to contact consumers on their cell phones. Unfortunately, the FCC's regulations have not kept up with the times.

The FCC needs to modernize its regulation implementing the TCPA. First, the modernized TCPA rules need to account for changes in technology and consumer behavior. Second, the rules should exclude methods used by legitimate businesses from the definition of an automatic dialer. 

Overly burdensome restrictions on wireless calls and text messages prohibit credit unions from contacting their member-owners - even though that's what members want and expect. Though Congress intended TCPA to stop unwanted robocalls, it never intended to block consumers from receiving legitimate business communications. It is imperative that the FCC's regulations implementing the TCPA recognize the distinction.

 

Where We Stand

The current requirements surrounding the TCPA lack clarity and are so confusing that some credit unions have stopped calling and texting consumers altogether because they do not want to risk being in-compliant.

Credit union members value the member services they receive from their local credit union. However, when smaller credit unions cannot risk contacting their members due to fear of noncompliance with TCPA, it puts consumers at risk as well.

CUNA filed a petition seeking a credit union exemption in fall 2017. In March 2018, the D.C. Court of Appeals overturned the FCC definition of an autodialer and vacated the FCC's reassigned number approach in a lawsuit brought against the TCPA. CUNA filed an amicus brief in the case, and has expressed numerous concerns about the TCPA's negative effects on credit union-member communication. We continue to engage with the FCC concerning our petition and the definition of an ATDS.

 

What We've Told Lawmakers & Regulators
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Research & News

CUNA's TCPA Petition 
Filed with the FCC
September 2017

CUNA White Paper to Bureau
Summer 2018

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