The FCC has announced an effective date of July 20, 2023 for rule amendments that affect certain calls to residential numbers that currently are exempt from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) prior express consent requirement. The amendments stem from the December 30, 2020 TCPA Exemptions Order that implemented aspects of the TRACED Act of 2019, which directed the FCC to place restrictions on calls to residential numbers otherwise exempt from the prior express consent requirements and calls to wireless numbers that are not charged to the called party.
The TCPA Exemptions Order most notably introduced amendments to the FCC’s TCPA rules for placement of artificial and prerecorded voice calls (that is, robocalls) to residential numbers that (i) limit the number of calls that a caller may place within a specified time period; (ii) require calls to include specific opt-out mechanisms; and (iii) require all callers to institute procedures to develop and maintain a do-not-call list.
The rule amendments were scheduled to take effect six months after the FCC’s publication of its final rules. However, petitions for reconsideration of the TCPA Exemptions Order delayed publication for nearly two years. The FCC finally acted on the petitions in late December 2022, and shortly thereafter, published the final rule amendments.
In anticipation of the July 20, 2023 effective date, companies should prepare for the following changes:
Informational robocalls placed to landline residential telephone numbers will cease to be fully exempt from the TCPA’s consent requirements. Absent prior express consent, the following call limitations will apply to informational robocalls placed to residential numbers:
Informational robocalls placed to landline residential telephone numbers must provide a specific menu of options that enable call recipients to include their numbers on the caller’s do-not-call list. All such calls must provide a contact telephone number for do-not-call requests, and automated interactive prompts that record such requests in real time.
All callers that place robocalls to landline residential telephone numbers must institute do-not-call procedures.
If you would like more information about these changes to the TCPA rules, contact an attorney in our Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity practice group.