In a letter sent today, we commended the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for holding today’s hearing to examine class action litigation abuses under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The TCPA, which was enacted over 25 years ago, was well-intentioned legislation aimed at protecting the privacy of everyday Americans against abusive telemarketing calls, but the TCPA today has become an engine for abusive class action litigation that has become widespread. The numbers are staggering. Last year alone, 3,710 TCPA lawsuits were filed in federal court, and between 2010 and 2015, case filings increased by over 940%.
Given that the TCPA has not been meaningfully amended by Congress since 1991, countless well-intentioned businesses and organizations (small and large) who legitimately try to communicate with employees, members or customers find themselves defending abusive class action litigation. The alleged liabilities appear in many forms and are usually based on expansive legal theories that Congress never intended when it first enacted the TCPA.
Today’s hearing serves as an important first step to tell the troubling litigation story under the TCPA. We remain committed to working with this Committee to advance important reforms that will bring a 20th Century solution in line with 21st Century challenges.
Click here to view the letter.
We are engaged on this issue at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and on Capitol Hill because we must ensure the ability of publishers to communicate with their subscribers and non-subscribers with a prior business relationship with the newspaper. Today newspapers rely on telemarketing for 20% of all new subscriptions and 26% of all subscription sales.
We will continue to advocate on behalf of members to achieve the right balance between consumer interest and practical business operations, with the hope of achieving a sound public policy resolution on this matter.
For more information, please contact Danielle Coffey, vice president of public policy.
Danielle Coffey is Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at News Media Alliance