May 31, 2019

FCC to move forward with robocall vote

Cell PhoneThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to move forward with its vote next week on a declaratory ruling that would allow both voice service providers to automatically block suspected robocalls unless a consumer opts out.

Earlier this week, NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Mahlet Makonnen met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's staff to discuss ongoing issues related to robocalls and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) ahead of the June 6 meeting.

During the meeting, Kossachev and Makonnen explained that the draft Declaratory Ruling, in its current form, "would harm consumers by resulting in the erroneous blocking of lawful calls."

"NAFCU informed FCC staff that if the Declaratory Ruling goes into effect as is, credit unions and their members may not be aware if their calls are erroneously blocked, which could lead consumers to miss time-sensitive notifications," a post-meeting document highlighted.

Makonnen also recently attended a coalition meeting with staff from other commissioners' offices to discuss robocall issues. She explains in a recent Compliance Blog post how these proposals could impact credit unions (read it here).

NAFCU has actively worked with the FCC on efforts to modernize the TCPA for more than three years. The association previously shared its concerns related to the definition of an autodialer and the need for clarity under the TCPA to ensure credit unions can contact their members without fear of breaking the law.