research resources >
revised tcpa rule fax restrictions
JUST THE FAX.... How the Revised TCPA Rule FAX Restrictions Apply to Survey Research Activities
As CMOR has previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced modifications to its Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Rules (see CMOR website at www.cmor.org for further details). Included among the FCC changes were modifications to the unsolicited sales-related fax portions of the TCPA Rules. From a CMOR-perspective, since the original Rules implicated sales-related faxes only, and there was no indication that there would be any changes regarding the sales-content focus of these provisions, our involvement regarding the TCPA Rule review were elsewhere (see CMOR website for full details on CMOR's involvement). Below is information for industry members about the scope of the original and modified unsolicited sales fax provisions, for your reference.
How did the Original Unsolicited Sales Fax Provisions of the TCPA Rules Apply To Survey Research Activities?
They didn't. The sending of unsolicited faxes for survey research purposes is permissible under the federal law, the TCPA, and the FCC TCPA Rules promulgated to implement the law. The law/Rules prohibit the sending of an "unsolicited advertisement" to a telephone facsimile machine. This term is defined both in the law and the FCC Rules as any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to any person without that person's prior express invitation or permission. Unsolicited faxes sent for survey research purposes are therefore outside of the scope of the law/regulations and would therefore be implicitly exempt.
How do the MODIFIED Unsolicited Sales Fax Provisions of the TCPA Rules Apply To Survey Research Activities?
The same way - they don't apply. The modified TCPA Rules unsolicited fax provisions (which go into effect August 25th) apply to survey research faxes as they always did -- we remain implicitly exempt. As long as the fax is being sent solely for survey research purposes and does not "advertise the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services" (i.e include a sales component), the fax is allowed.
NOTICE: The information provided above is not intended as and should not be construed as or a substitute for legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. It is advisable to consult with private counsel on the precise scope and interpretation of any given laws/legislation and their impact on your particular business.