FCC: Ringless Voicemails to Consumer Cell Phones Are Subject to Robocalling Restrictions

On March 31, 2017, All About the Message, LLC filed a Petition for a Declaratory Ruling, in which they sought clarification on whether the delivery of a ringless voicemail message sent directly to a consumer’s cell phone voicemail is covered by the TCPA. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau sought comments from the public regarding the Petition. Over 8,000 comments and replies were received and they were overwhelmingly in opposition to the Petition. After these comments were reviewed, the Federal Communications Commission clarified that any caller must have approval from the recipient before using a ringless voicemail, which is deemed as a message left in the recipient’s voicemail without having any notification that the call was received. The Commission then voted unanimously that such ringless voicemails are still considered automated calls and are covered under the TCPA and any violations similar to these can be enforced by the FCC or the caller can be sued by the recipient in court. The Declaratory Ruling and Order denied the petition by All about the Message, LLC. This ruling went into effect on November 21st, 2022, when the decision was released.

If your company places ringless voicemails, it is recommended to regularly update your compliance guidelines regarding getting prior express written consent from the recipient of the calls, to reduce the risk of lawsuits and FCC actions. Agents should be trained on the requirement to obtain prior express written consent before sending ringless voicemails.

If you have any questions about how any laws or regulations could impact your marketing efforts, CompliancePoint can help. Reach out to us at connect@compliancepoint.com

Finding a credible expert with the appropriate background, expertise, and credentials can be difficult. CompliancePoint is here to help.