FCC adopts Tennessee-supported rule to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing robocalls and robotexts

Published 9:36 am Monday, December 18, 2023

NASHVILLE – Using input from a coalition of state attorneys general, including Tennessee, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has amended a rule governing telemarketing communications, requiring individual businesses to obtain written consent from consumers before sending robotexts and making robocalls.
“We are pleased the FCC adopted our one-to-one consent rule for robocallers,” Chief of Staff Brandon Smith said in a statement. “I think I speak for us all when I say we’re tired of seeing ‘spam’ on our cell phones every other day. This will help stop that nuisance.” Under the prior rule, lead generating businesses misled consumers who believed they were consenting to a single company’s telecommunications, only to receive, sometimes, hundreds of unwanted calls and text messages from industry competitors.
The FCC’s new rule requires “one-to-one consent,” which prevents lead generators from obtaining consent on behalf of multiple businesses or sellers. Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined a bipartisan coalition of 29 Attorneys General in filing a letter with the FCC in June, urging the commission to enact the one-to-one consent requirement.
A common lead generation practice is to offer to give the consumer a quote for a good or service online (like insurance products), and in order to receive the quote, the consumer has to agree to receive calls and/or texts from the lead generator’s marketing partners. This often includes thousands of different businesses offering numerous different goods or services. Businesses are identified usually on a separate webpage only accessible via a hyperlink rather than listed outright.
Tennessee joined the June letter, along with attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A copy of the AG’s June letter can be found here.

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