This Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) released a spreadsheet of robocall and telemarketing consumer complaint data. The spreadsheet is available for public download and will be updated every week.
Why has the Commission released this information, and how will it affect telemarketers?
FCC’s Spreadsheet of Robocall and Telemarketing Complaints
On July 10, 2015, the FCC released its long-awaited Declaratory Ruling and Order, which was prompted by nearly two dozen petitions and letters requesting clarifications relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”). Among many other things, the Order gave the green light to telephone carriers to develop and implement new robocall- and telemarketing-blocking technology.
The Commission stated that this week’s data release is meant “to help developers build and improve ‘do-not-disturb’ technologies that allow consumers to block or filter unwanted calls and texts.” The FCC has released a range of data related to each robocall and telemarketing complaint received, including:
- the date and time of the call;
- a description of the issue;
- the caller’s phone number;
- the type of call (e.g., prerecorded, live voice); and
- the recipient’s state of residence.
As of this writing, the FCC’s spreadsheet includes data for 9,802 separate complaints that have been received by the Commission since October 1 of this year for unwanted robocalls and telemarketing calls.
Avoid the FCC’s Blacklist
As state and federal regulators continue to interpret the TCPA more and more expansively, it becomes even more crucial for telemarketers to establish best practices that comply with applicable regulations.