A First Look at the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order
On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") released the text of its omnibus Declaratory Ruling, which the Commission adopted by a 3-2 vote almost a month earlier, on June 18, 2015.
In the Ruling, the FCC responded to 21 petitions by a number of companies and trade associations who sought relief or clarification regarding the requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). The Ruling redefines what equipment falls within the definition of “autodialer,” specifies liability for calls to reassigned telephone numbers, provides consumers with a right to revoke consent by any reasonable means, and establishes new exceptions for financial and healthcare related calls, among other changes.
Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn both voted in favor, while Commissioners Rosenworcel and O’Rielly approved in part but dissented in part, and Commissioner Pai dissented.
FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Praises PayPal After Original TCPA Terms Drew Criticism
On June 11, the Chief of the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC sent a letter to PayPal, Inc. stating that the Company’s recent amendments to its User Agreement did not comply with federal law. Although the letter did not threaten enforcement action, the FCC has the power to impose fines for TCPA violations, after issuing citations to non-carriers such as PayPal. After PayPal made changes to its policy, the FCC Bureau Chief expressed approval of the revisions.