The TCPA and FCC rules prohibit making auto dialed or prerecorded non-emergency calls to a wireless phone number for which the called party is charged a fee, but does a voicemail delivery system that delivers messages directly to a voicemail box constitute a prohibited call?
In July, VoApps filed a Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling arguing that its DirectDROP Voicemail system does not violate the TCPA because its service calls a business wireline phone number on the voicemail service provider’s platform. Consumers, then, make a separate call to the voicemail system to retrieve the messages. Therefore, VoApps argues that its service does not constitute a call to a wireless phone number. Alternatively, VoApps argues that its service does not violate the TCPA because consumers are not charged for the calls to the voicemail platform to deliver the voicemail messages and that consumers can retrieve the message without charge.
On September 3, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on VoApps’ petition. Specifically, the Public Notice seeks comment on:
- Whether VoApps’ DirectDROP system constitutes a telephone call to a wireless number or other service under the TCPA;
- Whether, with respect to VoApps alternative argument, the VoApp service charges consumers for calls made to the voicemail platform to deliver the voicemail messages; and
- Whether the consumer’s ability to determine whether, when, and how to retrieve voicemail messages from VoApps’ service preserves the TCPA’s core purposes of protecting consumer privacy and avoiding disruptions to consumers’ lives.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Advisory or if you require advice related to TCPA compliance, please do not hesitate to contact Jane Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org / 703-714-1321 or Linda McReynolds at email@example.com / 703-714-1318.
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