Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) FAQs

What is TCPA?

TCPA, or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, is a set of rules and regulations established by The Federal Communications Commission in 1992.

How does STIR/SHAKEN tie into TCPA?

STIR/SHAKEN is an expansion of TCPA and is being put in place to instill calling confidence in customers. This set of industry standards is designed to reduce spam robocalls, prevent the “spoofing” of Caller ID data, and help businesses improve voice security

What is considered a robocall?

Robocalls are prerecorded or autodialed calls made to your landline or cell phone, usually when you have not given permission for the caller to contact you. They are often made by telemarketers, who contact you to sell a product or service, usually unsolicited. Robocalls can also come from other entities besides telemarketers, such as debt collectors.

What are the specific TCPA rules for telemarketing?

  • Telemarketing calls can only be made between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time at the called party’s location)
  • All telemarketers must comply with limits on “abandoned calls” and employ other consumer-friendly practices when using automated telephone dialing equipment
  • A telemarketer must abandon no more than 3 percent of calls answered by a person and must deliver a prerecorded identification message when abandoning a call
  • Telemarketers must not disconnect an unanswered telemarketing call prior to at least 15 seconds or four rings
  • All pre-recorded messages, whether delivered by automated dialing equipment or not, must identify the name of the entity responsible for initiating the call, along with the telephone number of that entity that can be used during normal business hours to ask not to be called again
  • All telemarketers must transmit caller ID information when available and must refrain from blocking any such transmission(s) to the consumer
  • All businesses that use smart dialers to sell services must maintain records documenting compliance with call abandonment rules
  • Make sure to provide an opt-out function to put the phone number on the DNC registry
    The (Do Not Call Registry) DNC list needs to be specific to your organization and on file for 5 years
  • Avoid calling numbers where the recipient is paying for the call (healthcare offices, mobile numbers, and even medical facilities)

Where can I find the National Do Not Call registry?

This is the page the FCC maintains regarding how businesses can sign up to get subscriptions for the FCC’s do-not-call lists. Businesses can purchase subscriptions for specific area codes or for all area codes. (See Subscribing To Area Codes section)

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