Current TCPA Reflects Failure to Recognize Modern Communications

Mobile phone usage trends suggest that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) existing interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and implementing regulations is both outdated and harmful to consumers and credit unions, CUNA wrote Monday. CUNA sent its letter to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations sub-committee on financial services and general government for the record of its hearing on the FCC and Federal Trade Commission budget.

“As you consider the FCC’s fiscal budget for the upcoming year, it is imperative that Congress encourage the FCC to modernize its implementing regulations for the TCPA,” the letter reads, adding that the unique relationship between members and credit unions spawns a variety of communication between the two, everything from account information to governance issues.

CUNA’s letter notes that the rules for contacting consumers are completely different for landlines and mobile phones, and that this distinction is “antiquated and unfair and fails to reflect how the vast majority of consumers communicate today.”

CUNA cites a Centers for Disease Control study that found more than 50% of Americans only use a cell phone, a rate that will continue to rise.

“At the same time that consumers are abandoning landline phones, cell phone use is becoming less and less expensive… These trends suggest that the rationale for the FCC’s existing interpretation of the TCPA and implementing regulations are not only outdated, but also harmful to both consumers and the credit unions that serve them,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, we urge Congress to hold the FCC accountable for its failure to modernize the TCPA and reiterate the need for the Commission to undertake rule-making efforts that are line with modern technological practices.”