New FCC Ruling Re: Phone Systems Puts All Businesses at Risk

September 15, 2015

Under current regulation, if your business uses an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) or an artificial/prerecorded voice to make telephone calls to a cell phone without prior express consent of the called party, your business is engaging in TCPA Prohibited Conduct and the FCC may impose a fine of $1,000 per incident.

If you think it doesn’t apply to you, guess again. The latest FCC Declaratory Ruling and Order on the TCPA released to the public on Friday, July 10, 2015 defines “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) to mean equipment that has current or future capacity to:

  1. Store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and
  2. Dial such numbers.

This FCC ruling clearly espouses a "future" reading of capacity. In a nut shell, any telephone other than a rotary telephone is defined as an ATDS and using any said device to communicate to your customers puts you at risk of potential fines and litigation under the Telephone Consumers Protection Act (TCPA).

Most customers now conduct business on a cellular device, so that means you need to ensure policies and procedures are in place that obtain expressed consent to contact your customers.

Contributed by Jennifer Dietrich, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Credit Services, Inc.

View the on-demand webinar “Strategies for Collecting Delinquent Accounts” with Jennifer Dietrich.