On May 18, 2017, All About the Message LLC (AATM), filed a petition for a declaratory ruling before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), requesting that the FCC issue a rule that would declare that delivering a voice message directly into a consumer’s voicemail box does not constitute a “call” that is subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) general prohibition on the use of auto-dialers or pre-recorded voice messages (absent appropriate consent). AATM’s petition follows a similar FCC petition filed by VoAPPs, Inc. on July 31, 2014. There, VoAPPs argued that leaving a voice message directly into the consumer’s mailbox does not constitute a “call” subject to the TCPA because such a message does not cause the type of disruption that the TCPA was enacted to curtail. The FCC has not yet resolved VoAPPs’ 2014 petition.

If the FCC declares that ringless voicemail technology is not a “call” under the TCPA, it may open a new marketing avenue for creative telemarketers. The FCC has issued a public notice seeking comments by June 2, 2017.

We continue to monitor this subject closely and developments in TCPA litigation generally. Please see this list of recent TCPA actions.