For many years the Congress or Federal Government had to step into help and protect consumers by creating lawful Acts. Some of these acts are: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974), Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, (1986), The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (1991), and Do not Call Implementation Act (2003). Presently the Federal Government has numerous acts that authorize the government to implement consumer protection; however, this paper will address only two of them.
We will discuss the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 and the Do not Call Implementation Act of 2003. Information technology has increased significantly over time. The caller Identification technology and other telephone number capturing systems have placed the consumer at the mercy of telemarketers and other nuisance callers. The increasing use of the advanced information technology such as automated and prerecorded messaging to consumer homes caused many complaints to government authorities.
The Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the TCPA, and 12 years later the Do Not Call Implementation Act. According to Federal Communications Commission (2008), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 was created by Congress to ensure that telephone marketing callers, “provide his or her name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity can be contacted. Unwanted telemarketing calls often interrupted something important, and there is no callback number, and no way to reach the caller, to say do not call again. These are some of many consumer concerns about unsolicited telephone marketing calls that caused the establishment of the TCPA and the national Do Not Call List. According to Watson (2008), in 2003 the United States Congress passed the Do Not Call Implementation Act.
This act was put into place for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create and maintain a Do Not Call Registry for the Do. Not Call List. The forerunner of the national do not call list had a few flaws. One flaw was consumer was forced to register objections with each business to be placed on the specific do not call list. In addition, over time advanced technology brought on the ability to call many telephone numbers merely by clicking a computer key that sends automated and prerecorded messages. The technology was so pervasive that thousands of unsolicited calls could be made with very limited employee time.
The Do Not Call Implementation Act of 2003 provided additional protection to consumers from unwanted phone calls from telemarketers. Instead of registering with each business or entity, a consumer has to request placement of his or her telephone number on the do not call list or registry. The Do Not Call Implementation Act makes the Do Not Call Registry permanent, which means a consumer, has to register their number only once. The only time a customer has to reregister is when his or her phone number was disconnected for some reason or the customer was assigned a different number.
The two Acts covered in this paper, although an excellent try to eliminate unwanted calls and provide protection for consumers, left areas that required attention. For example, charities and any entity that the consumer had previous business relationship was left covered under these Acts. The good news is that according to Watson (2008), the Federal Trade Commission closed one of the major loopholes still open to telemarketers. With any luck, the days of unsolicited phone calls may be coming to an end.
Federal Communications Commission. (2008). Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls. Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tcpa.html Watson, B. (2008). Not call implementation act tips. “Shutting down the Telemarketers” Retrieved from http://www.walletpop.com/tag/do+not+call+implementation+act/
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