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We aim to highlight the importance of due diligence in lead campaigns and to keep our customers and industry associates up-to-date with the compliance news reported for our industry. This article is reprinted here for our readers, courtesy of our legal partners, MacMurray & Shuster.  

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Verbal PEWC Likely No Longer Sufficient for TCPA Compliance

By Josh Stevens

As most businesses are aware, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires businesses to secure “prior express written consent” (PEWC) before making telemarketing calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice in most circumstances. Several months ago, the FCC announced updates to the requirements for PEWC. In its order, the FCC highlighted that PEWC obtained electronically needed to meet all the requirements of the E-SIGN Act. With this emphasis, a question emerged: “May PEWC be validly obtained verbally on a recorded call?”

A federal court has now answered that question.

In Bradley v., the U.S. District Court for Maryland held that the written disclosures required for PEWC must be made in writing and trigger the E-SIGN Act’s “consumer disclosure” requirements. Unfortunately for the defense, the E-SIGN Act’s consumer disclosure requirements do not allow voice recordings to serve as valid “electronic record” for that purpose. Consequently, the court held, in no uncertain terms, “…the required written disclosure outlined in § 64.1200(f)(9)(i) of the TCPA cannot be provided via voice recording.”

This distinction is crucial because it means businesses can no longer rely on verbal consent obtained during phone calls, even if those calls are recorded, to satisfy PEWC for TCPA purposes. For businesses with verbal consent already on file, this means that those consents are now likely insufficient for PEWC purposes and should not be relied upon as such. If a business currently uses a verbal process to collect PEWC, it should strongly consider transitioning to a true E-SIGN Act-compliant electronic process such as using a properly designed online form or email flow.

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this page and related links is provided for general education purposes only and is not legal advice. Convoso does not guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of this information to your situation. You are solely responsible for using Convoso’s services in a legally compliant way and should consult your legal counsel for compliance advice. Any quotes are solely the views of the quoted person and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Convoso.

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