A rule change has been put into effect by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowing lawmakers and their agents to contact cell phones without consent. This came as a result of three petitions that were filled requesting the clarification of “person” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The commissioners concluded that robocalls made by “federal legislators or agents acting under authority validly conferred by the federal government” used to organize tele-town halls are “not subject to the TCPA’s robocall consent requirement …”
This is a major ruling as lawmakers now have the freedom to send robocalls using an automated dialing system (ATDS) to your personal cell phone. This includes individuals who may have provided expressed written consent against that exact notion and the over 220 million people on the Do Not Call Registry. The ruling was made in July of 2016 but Rep. Mac Thornberry’s press secretary, Jon Corley claimed that they were only recently made aware of this ruling. He stated that they continued to require constituents to provide written or oral consent to receive robocalls to cellphones.
While this limited group of individuals aren’t subject to TCPA restrictions for the organization of tele-town halls, there are still stipulations they must abide by. The FCC prohibits calls made to cell phones regarding political campaigns, but allow a few instances
- Cell phone calls made for emergency purposes
- If consent is provided by the cell phone owner
- Cell phone calls made to collect debt guaranteed by the federal government
Corley clarified that any data or minute charges incurred during these robocalls will not be charged to the government, rather to the individual on the call. The individual on the call is also responsible for how long they remain on the call and all charges will directly reflect the amount specified by the carrier.
This ruling is particularly interesting considering FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated that robocalls are the number one complaint reported by consumers and they are “justifiably angry.” Many government officials are not pleased with the ruling, stating that they do not apply to lower levels of government.
It is important that you stay updated on TCPA restrictions. An experienced Florida TCPA attorney with The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi can analyze the details of your case and pursue legal action. You have the right to seek $500-$1500 per TCPA violation. Millions of dollars have been recovered by consumers just like you through the TCPA. There may be federal exemptions, but there are still telemarketers and debt collection agencies that violate the TCPA. Contact (844)-JIBRAEL to speak to a TCPA lawyer today!