Our joint brief intervening in the court appeal of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)'s new Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restrictions on telephone research has been filed.

The petitioners in the case filed their brief on November 25.

The Marketing Research Association (MRA), along with CASRO, MRS BRO LLC, Cavalry Portfolio Services LLC, Diversified Consultants Inc., Merchantile Adjustment Bureau LLC, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Conifer Revenue Cycle Solutions LLC, and Gerzhom Inc., argued together in the intervenors’ brief that calling technology has changed fundamentally since the TCPA was enacted, and that the FCC’s 2015 regulations dramatically expand the scope of the TCPA.

While all these intervenors represent different industries, we all have similar concerns with the FCC's new TCPA rules. For instance, “Members of both CASRO and MRA rely upon their ability to contact respondents via the telephone to collect and analyze certain opinions and behaviors, and use automated dialing equipment as an essential tool in executing and conducting such research-based calls. Researchers must include wireless phone users in their studies to maintain statistically accurate samples. Both Research Intervenors assert that equipment requiring human intervention to call each number should not be defined as an autodialer and also remain concerned about being exposed to liability for good faith errors.

Wireless-only adults and children

The wireless-only and wireless-mostly populations continue to grow -- 62% of American households are only reachable or almost only reachable on cell phones, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics. This makes the TCPA’s restrictions on autodialer calls to cell phones ever more acute.

The intervenors’ brief summarizes everyone’s broad concerns: “The Order dramatically expands the TCPA’s scope in a manner that is contrary to the statute’s language and purpose. As a result of this expansive interpretation, Intervenors’ ability to communicate with their customers about important issues will be severely restricted; Intervenors will be forced to expend significant time and money attempting to comply with the uncertain standards created by the Order; and Intervenors may be exposed to potentially crippling liability from class action lawsuits for good faith errors. Intervenors support each of the contentions raised by Petitioners. Further, Intervenors assert that the Order fails to provide clear and workable solutions for a world that has changed dramatically—via advances in wireless and calling technology—since the TCPA was first enacted in 1991.

The expected schedule for the TCPA court appeal is trucking right along.