Category Archives: Telemarketing and Call Center Operations

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Indiana Amends Telemarketing Law, Bringing New Disclosure Requirements and DNC Vicarious Liability

Last month, the Indiana Governor signed into law House Bill No. 1444, which amends Indiana’s “do not call” statute and extends liability beyond the telephone solicitor, to individuals or entities that “directly or indirectly control” the telephone solicitor. The amendments take effect July 1, 2017 and affect entities that target Indiana consumers via telephone solicitation, … Continue Reading

Judge Upholds FTC Staff Opinion that Avatar Calls are Prerecorded Messages under TSR

Yesterday, a D.C. district court upheld a recent opinion letter issued by FTC staff that extended robocalling restrictions to telemarketing calls that use so-called soundboard technology or “avatars.”  This technology generally allows a live agent to communicate with a call recipient by playing recorded audio snippets instead of using his or her own live voice. … Continue Reading

FCC Approves Release of NPRM to Implement Government Debt TCPA Exemption

On May 4, 2016, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to exempt robocalls made to collect “a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States” from the TCPA’s prior express consent requirement. The new rules will implement a provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. In its Notice, the Commission seeks … Continue Reading

FCC Reaffirms Potential TCPA Liability for Text Message Platforms

On January 11, 2016, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released an order denying a petition by a text message platform provider for a declaratory ruling that the Commission should evaluate TCPA liability for these types of entities under the same standard established for fax broadcasters.  In the Order, the Bureau explained that a separate … Continue Reading

Don’t Call Me, Maybe – Missouri AG Alleges Charter Communications Violated TCPA, TSR, and State Laws under Third-Party Liability Theory

On Monday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications, Inc., alleging that the cable, internet, and telephone service provider’s third party telemarketers made thousands of telemarketing calls to consumers who had placed their numbers on the federal and Missouri do-not-call lists, or requested not to receive telemarketing calls from Charter. According … Continue Reading

FTC Closes Investigation Involving Proposed Changes to PayPal’s Terms

Earlier this year, PayPal announced planned changes to its User Agreement that would have, among other things, given the company broad rights to contact people by phone or text messages. The provision stated, in part: You consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have … Continue Reading

New Jersey Relaxes Telemarketing Cell Phone Restrictions

Last month, we reported on a bill that would amend a key provision in New Jersey’s restrictive telemarketing law, which prohibited nearly all telemarketing calls to mobile devices, even when the telemarketer had the consent of the mobile device user.  At the end of January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the bill, S1382.  The … Continue Reading

NJ Telemarketing Cell Phone Ban Expected to Change

New Jersey currently has the most restrictive law against making telemarketing calls to mobile devices, but that may change in the next two weeks. New Jersey’s legislature recently passed a bill that amends New Jersey’s current telemarketing law which prohibits nearly all telemarketing calls to mobile devices, even if a telemarketer has consent of the … Continue Reading

Call Me, Maybe? – A Webinar on Key TCPA Developments

As companies draw on mobile delivery platforms, cloud-based technologies, and third-party vendors to become more sophisticated in their use of telemarketing, autodialer, and text message campaigns, the business risks and potential for class action lawsuits have greatly increased. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) has emerged as a cottage industry with plaintiffs’ attorneys … Continue Reading

Marketing Consultant May Be Held Liable Under TCPA for Its Third-Party Marketer’s Unsolicited Text Messages

Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a marketing consultant for the United States Navy – the Campbell-Ewald Company – could be held liable for a third-party marketer’s violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) arising out of the transmittal of unsolicited text messages. The Navy hired Campbell-Ewald to … Continue Reading

Capital One Settles Largest TCPA Class Action for $75M

Last week, a court preliminarily approved the largest class action settlement alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Capitol One, along with three debt collection agencies, agreed to pay more than $75 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the companies used an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and/or artificial … Continue Reading

Can You Afford To Send That Text? Connecticut’s Mini-TCPA Imposes Substantial Fines on Telemarketers

Several weeks ago, Connecticut enacted legislation making it illegal for telemarketers to send unwanted text messages to consumers, modernizing the State law and bringing it into accord with the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  Among other things, Connecticut’s “mini-TCPA” bans unsolicited commercial calls, and text and media messages to be sent to an individual’s … Continue Reading

Express Written Consent Requirement for Telemarketing Calls and Texts to Take Effect October 16, 2013

New rules issued by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") last year are about to take effect. These rules will make it more difficult for businesses to make telemarketing calls and texts to wireless customers and to certain residential customers by requiring express written consent (1) to make telemarketing calls using an autodialer or prerecorded message … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule

On May 21, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding proposed amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). Notably, the proposed changes would: (1) expressly state that the seller or telemarketer bears the burden of demonstrating an existing business relationship with a customer whose number is listed on the … Continue Reading

Kansas AG Action Offers Reminder That States Monitor Do-Not-Call Compliance

A few days ago, a Kansas state court entered a default judgment against Bullseye Target Marketing, a Missouri telemarketing company that solicited roofing business in Kansas, in an action brought by the Kansas Attorney General alleging violations of the Kansas No-Call Act (the state analogue to the federal Telemarketing Sales Rule). The court ordered the … Continue Reading

FCC Opens the Door to Vicarious Liability for Third-Party Telemarketing Under Certain Conditions

On May 9, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that sellers may be held vicariously liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) for unlawful telemarketing by third parties under certain circumstances. The FCC’s Declaratory Ruling addresses third-party liability for violations of the Do Not Call and prerecorded message restrictions of the Communications Act. The … Continue Reading

New York Enacts Legislation To Strengthen Consumer Protections Against Telemarketers

On August 14, 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation, which will regulate all telemarketers doing business in the State and strengthen consumer protections relating to pre-recorded telemarketing messages. Introduced on June 12, 2012 by Assembly member Didi Barrett (AD 103), the new law aligns significantly with those provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer … Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Company that Used Sweepstakes to Get Around Do-Not-Call Rules

This afternoon, the FTC announced that the manufacturer of Rascal Scooters has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle charges that it illegally called millions of consumers whose phone numbers were on the national Do Not Call Registry. The company asked consumers to provide their numbers on sweepstakes entry forms so that the company could contact them … Continue Reading

FCC Says Calls to Current Customers are not “Telephone Solicitations” under the TCPA

In the past month, we’ve posted two entries (here and here) regarding court decisions interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the "TCPA") in the context of mobile marketing campaigns. This morning, our colleagues at the Telecom Law Monitor posted an entry about an FCC decision interpreting the TCPA in the context of a telemarketing case. … Continue Reading