Bis 220 Week 1

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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was established to protect consumers from the increasingly intrusive methods employed by telemarketers. Information technology advances such as auto-dialers, predictive dialers, and automated faxes made it easier to reach large numbers of businesses and households in a relatively short time. These methods were not only highly annoying to consumers, but through the use of these devices, telemarketing companies were also passing some of the cost of marketing onto the consumer. Consumers on the receiving end of numerous calls from various companies throughout the day were spending time that could have been spent in other activities and were rightly frustrated about the loss of their time. In the case of automated faxes, resources such as paper, ink, and even the data connection being used to receive what is essentially junk mail was a cost the consumer had no way to avoid. Fortunately, lawmakers responded to this unethical action of telemarketing companies with the TCPA. Specifically, the law makes it illegal to use auto-dialers and pre-recorded voice messages to make sales calls to emergency phone lines, medical offices, hospital rooms, homes for the elderly, paging services, or cellular phones. It also requires the recipient of pre-recorded telemarketing calls to give prior consent to receive the calls. It also made it illegal to send unsolicited fax messages. The law also gave states their own authority to regulate telemarketing practices. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforces the rules set forth in the TCPA. The FCC was also given authority to issue regulations beyond the TCPA in order to continue to protect consumers from abusive telemarketing practices. This provision shows that Congress recognizes that over time changes in information technology may make the TCPA insufficient to meet the task of consumer protection ("EPIC - Telemarketing and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)")....
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