Compliance is Key: How TTHM is Helping Clients Keep up with the FCC & TCPA

by | May 11, 2021 | Compliance, Health Care, Labor Union, Legislators, Membership, Municipalities, School Districts

Telephone Town Hall Meeting (TTHM) has always upheld the highest level of compliance.  Our team often exceeds the statutory requirements that govern telecommunications to ensure the highest ethical standards for our clients.  We believe that good outreach means prioritizing the regulations that protect consumers and separate us from the spammers.

Bottom line – we take laws governing our business and actions on your behalf very seriously.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a “Report and Order” that outlines modifications to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) based on the need to comply with the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement Act (TRACED Act).  TTHM has been tracking the rollout and implementation of these regulations for years so that we can keep our clients ahead of the compliance curve.

The TRACED Act, passed in 2019, is an addition to the TCPA.  TRACED focuses on regulating unlawful robocalls and is one of several steps the FCC is taking to protect consumers, and to combat SPAM/SPOOF calls from telecoms bad actors.  The recent “Report and Order” from the FCC helps to clarify the regulations within the TCPA to comply with the TRACED Act.  Make sure your Teletownhall and Voice Broadcast vendors are compliant when initiating outreach on your behalf!

What is changing and how does it affect you?

Whether you call them Robocalls, Phone Blasts, Voice Broadcasts or something else, the FCC is cracking down on fraudulent and unwanted calls.  Learn more about the changes below.  Then feel free to reach out to TTHM to discuss how we work to deliver quality outreach through the changing tides of both government regulations and phone carrier filters.

Opt-Out Requirements

The FCC clarified that unsolicited, informational, prerecorded calls to landlines will now have to comply with the same opt-out requirements applicable to telemarketing calls.  Here are the crucial points:

1) Reliable Do Not Contact (DNC) processing required.  The Teletownhall system accepts participant requests to be placed on the DNC list automatically. TTHM Operators also process live DNC requests from event participants.  These opt-outs are scrubbed from all future outreach on your behalf.  We maintain a unique DNC list for each client and have since 2014.

2) When leaving a voicemail for either a voice broadcast or a teletownhall dialout, the message must include a phone number where you can be contacted.  TTHM has made this step mandatory for all phone outreach since 2014 and has mandated opt-out language in our P2P Text Alerts since 2018.  Quality outreach means doing what’s right for both our clients and for consumers.

Limit of 3 Auto Calls in 30 Days (more with consent)

The FCC imposed limits on the number of non-telemarking prerecorded calls that can be made to landlines without prior consent.  You are now limited to 3 calls in a 30-day period to a particular telephone number.  No matter how many different vendors you use, your cumulative limit is 3 automated calls.

This limitation does not apply to cases in which a consumer has provided consent to the caller to make additional pre-recorded or artificial calls, nor does it apply to live voice calls.  This new regulation was crafted to avoid giving any specific types of entities an exemption.  Even if you have been exempted from tenets of the TCPA in the past, it is most likely that your exemption does not apply to this order.

What happens next?

Based on the “Landline Robocall Order,” these requirements will take effect six months after OMB’s approval (estimated late 2021).  TTHM is maintaining compliance as if the order were already in place to provide our clients time to adapt to the new rules.

TTHM and Teletownhall track outreach made on behalf of clients and strictly abide by this limitation on calls made using the Teletownhall system.  However, we cannot track calls made by other vendors on your behalf.  This means that entities engaging in automated calls to landline phones will need to track total outreach within a 30-day period themselves, or utilize a single vendor that tracks compliance on their behalf.

Remember that the TTHM Toolbox is at your disposal.  We do it all and we do it right.  TTHM will continue to review the new regulations to ensure the highest standard of compliance.  Professional litigants are tracking these regulations and targeting careless outreach, so please take these updates seriously.

In most cases, we are encouraging the use of Text Alerts instead of Voice Broadcasts when reaching out to mobile phones to promote upcoming Teletownhalls. Texting is more effective and is regulated separately from autodials. We use Peer-to-Peer Texting Technology to deliver texts on behalf of clients in order to remain compliant with texting regulations as well.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.  TTHM is here to be the ally you need in keeping up with these and other rapid changes to the telecoms industry.