Oklahoma and Washington Mini TCPA fend off contact industry

As readers of TCPA.World know, the Czar is a big fan of the Consumer Consent Council and PACE and I love that the two organizations come together.

Unsurprisingly, the folks at PACE are big fans of tcpaworld.com, and when I briefed everyone on the Oklahoma and Washington machinations, the top lawyers at MacMurray & Shuster got to work arguing for some common sense here.

In new letters submitted last week, you can read them here Letter from Oklahoma and Washington Letter–PACE focuses directly on the problem of the “automated system of selection Where dialing telephone numbers” in the bills being considered in both states. (I I wonder where they got that idea?)

The letters are effective and well written – as you’d expect – and really drive home the point:

The ban on using an “automated selection system” is problematic. The bill does not define the term, nor does it define the word “selection”. This amorphous language creates a hazardous ambiguity. The strict language of this bill would prohibit companies from automatically selecting numbers from indexed customer lists, going well beyond the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).2

The purpose of the bill is to prevent certain types of robocalls. But the inclusion in the bill of the phrase “automated selection system” would blur this objective. The practical result would prevent consumers from receiving the calls they want and make it difficult for businesses to use an indexed list to call those consumers, making the bill both anti-consumer and anti-business.

Business acumen is essential to the free flow of commerce, especially in the sale of products and services. A special relationship exists between consumers and sales coordinators that requires strong and simple communication. By adding “automated system of selecting or dialing telephone numbers” to the law, the legislator undermines this relationship, hinders the ability of professionals to make sales, and prevents consumers from obtaining the communications they want, and thereby preventing them from obtaining the goods. and the services they need.

The potential harm this bill will cause to businesses is frightening. Not only will businesses lose the ease and convenience of calling customers from their carefully crafted indexed list, but they will also face the uncertainty of how to stay in touch with their customers. Businesses take a lot of time and care to index lists of consumer numbers to call to maximize productivity and make consumer contact cost-effective. These methods would be rejected because of this bill. If compliance costs don’t overwhelm businesses, potential litigation costs will. No position could be conservative enough to avoid disputes over the meaning of the term “automated selection system”. Even if the bill passes and the courts find that automatic selection of numbers from an indexed list is not prohibited, companies will have to incur heavy expenses to bring a lawsuit for this purpose.

Here here!

Hopefully the folks in the Oklahoma and Washington legislatures heed this sound advice.

It is great to see PACE’s advocacy on these critical issues.

We will keep an eye on these and other bills.

© Copyright 2022 Squire Patton Boggs (USA) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 61

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