FCC May Allow Telemarketers to Text You Without Permission
One of the most significant consumer protections Americans have against unwanted text messages and robocalls could get eliminated if the Federal Communications Commission sides with a request made by industry lobbying groups.
The banking and collection industries want the FCC to exempt so-called wrong number calls and texts to cell phones from enforcement under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. To prevent unwanted calls, consumers, and law firms that represent them, are given the ability to file lawsuits seeking $500 to $1,500 for every robocall, unwanted telemarketing call and text message received.
A coalition of consumer groups has urged the FCC to keep the protections in place, but there is continuing concern that consumers will soon face a torrent of unwanted text messages and phone calls that will no longer be against the law. As the law now stands, those calls and texts are only supposed to go to those consumers who have signed up to receive them.
The industry groups say that they should not be held accountable when someone who signed up for the marketing messages changes cell phone numbers and someone else acquires the number.
Consumer groups, and TCPA lawsuits assert that the issue isn't the single accidental wrong number call. Instead they said it is the ongoing difficulty many consumers have had getting off these lists even after complaining and that, if the law is changed, the companies will pepper consumers with unwanted text messages and calls and, to avoid being held accountable, simply say they had the wrong number.