Summary

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes. Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Sep 22, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

(a) In General.--Section 227(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 227(a)) is amended-- (1) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows: ``(1) The term `automatic telephone dialing system' means equipment which uses a random or sequential number generator to produce telephone numbers to be called and to dial such numbers.''; (2) in paragraph (2)-- (A) by striking ``subsection (b)(1)(C)(i)'' and inserting ``paragraph (3) and subsection (b)(1)(C)(i)''; (B) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``; and'' and inserting a semicolon; (C) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``paragraph (2)(G)).'' and inserting ``subsection (b)(2)(G); and''; and (D) by adding at the end the following: ``(C) this paragraph shall not apply for purposes of determining whether an established business relationship exists for purposes of prior express consent to a call that is a telephone solicitation.''; (3) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (5) as paragraphs (4) through (6), respectively; and (4) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following: ``(3) The term `prior express consent' means the oral or written approval of a person-- ``(A) for the initiation of a telephone call to such person by or on behalf of an entity with which such...

Read Full Text

Sentiment Map

Select:

Nation

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

State: CA

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Minority Member Waxman: We the undersigned write to express our strong support for H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. This legislation will modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by enacting limited, common-sense revisions to facilitate the delivery of time-sensitive consumer information to mobile devices, while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. Businesses increasingly rely on advanced communications technologies to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about threats such as data breaches and fraud alerts, provide timely notice of flight and service appointment cancellations and drug recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account. Unfortunately, the TCPA restricts informational calls that utilize assistive technologies to mobile devices even though the law permits such calls to be made to wireline phones. As a result, the approximately 40% of American consumers who identify their mobile device as their primary or exclusive means of communication do not receive many of these calls. This restriction imposes unwarranted costs and inconveniences on consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. When enacted in 1991, Congress intended this restriction to protect consumers against the then-daunting per-minute costs and privacy concerns associated with unsolicited incoming calls from telemarketers. But this restriction applies equally to informational calls. In addition, most wireless consumers are now covered by flat-rate plans, and even for those who are not, technological advances and increased competition have greatly reduced per-minute charges. A strong consumer-protection environment depends on appropriate communication between businesses and their customers. As consumers increasingly rely on wireless phones as their primary, or even sole, means of communication, the TCPA’s outdated restriction on the use of assistive technologies in contacting wireless consumers for non-telemarketing purposes is now doing far more harm than good for the consumers such restriction was intended to protect. Read more at http://www.cbanet.org/files/FileDownloads/MobileInformationalCallActLetter.pdf

Share

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Minority Member Waxman: We the undersigned write to express our strong support for H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. This legislation will modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by enacting limited, common-sense revisions to facilitate the delivery of time-sensitive consumer information to mobile devices, while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. Businesses increasingly rely on advanced communications technologies to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about threats such as data breaches and fraud alerts, provide timely notice of flight and service appointment cancellations and drug recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account. Unfortunately, the TCPA restricts informational calls that utilize assistive technologies to mobile devices even though the law permits such calls to be made to wireline phones. As a result, the approximately 40% of American consumers who identify their mobile device as their primary or exclusive means of communication do not receive many of these calls. This restriction imposes unwarranted costs and inconveniences on consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. When enacted in 1991, Congress intended this restriction to protect consumers against the then-daunting per-minute costs and privacy concerns associated with unsolicited incoming calls from telemarketers. But this restriction applies equally to informational calls. In addition, most wireless consumers are now covered by flat-rate plans, and even for those who are not, technological advances and increased competition have greatly reduced per-minute charges. A strong consumer-protection environment depends on appropriate communication between businesses and their customers. As consumers increasingly rely on wireless phones as their primary, or even sole, means of communication, the TCPA’s outdated restriction on the use of assistive technologies in contacting wireless consumers for non-telemarketing purposes is now doing far more harm than good for the consumers such restriction was intended to protect. Read more at http://www.cbanet.org/files/FileDownloads/MobileInformationalCallActLetter.pdf

Share

Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Minority Member Waxman: We the undersigned write to express our strong support for H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. This legislation will modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by enacting limited, common-sense revisions to facilitate the delivery of time-sensitive consumer information to mobile devices, while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. Businesses increasingly rely on advanced communications technologies to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about threats such as data breaches and fraud alerts, provide timely notice of flight and service appointment cancellations and drug recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account. Unfortunately, the TCPA restricts informational calls that utilize assistive technologies to mobile devices even though the law permits such calls to be made to wireline phones. As a result, the approximately 40% of American consumers who identify their mobile device as their primary or exclusive means of communication do not receive many of these calls. This restriction imposes unwarranted costs and inconveniences on consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. When enacted in 1991, Congress intended this restriction to protect consumers against the then-daunting per-minute costs and privacy concerns associated with unsolicited incoming calls from telemarketers. But this restriction applies equally to informational calls. In addition, most wireless consumers are now covered by flat-rate plans, and even for those who are not, technological advances and increased competition have greatly reduced per-minute charges. A strong consumer-protection environment depends on appropriate communication between businesses and their customers. As consumers increasingly rely on wireless phones as their primary, or even sole, means of communication, the TCPA’s outdated restriction on the use of assistive technologies in contacting wireless consumers for non-telemarketing purposes is now doing far more harm than good for the consumers such restriction was intended to protect. Read more at http://www.cbanet.org/files/FileDownloads/MobileInformationalCallActLetter.pdf

Share

We the undersigned write to express our strong support for H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. This legislation will modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by enacting limited, common-sense revisions to facilitate the delivery of time-sensitive consumer information to mobile devices, while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. Businesses increasingly rely on advanced communications technologies to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about threats such as data breaches and fraud alerts, provide timely notice of flight and service appointment cancellations and drug recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account. Unfortunately, the TCPA restricts informational calls that utilize assistive technologies to mobile devices even though the law permits such calls to be made to wireline phones. As a result, the approximately 40% of American consumers who identify their mobile device as their primary or exclusive means of communication do not receive many of these calls. This restriction imposes unwarranted costs and inconveniences on consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole. When enacted in 1991, Congress intended this restriction to protect consumers against the then-daunting per-minute costs and privacy concerns associated with unsolicited incoming calls from telemarketers. But this restriction applies equally to informational calls. In addition, most wireless consumers are now covered by flat-rate plans, and even for those who are not, technological advances and increased competition have greatly reduced per-minute charges. A strong consumer-protection environment depends on appropriate communication between businesses and their customers. As consumers increasingly rely on wireless phones as their primary, or even sole, means of communication, the TCPA’s outdated restriction on the use of assistive technologies in contacting wireless consumers for non-telemarketing purposes is now doing far more harm than good for the consumers such restriction was intended to protect. Read more at http://www.cbanet.org/files/FileDownloads/MobileInformationalCallActLetter.pdf

Share

Organizations Opposing

While this bill does not specifically impact Political robocalls (which are currently exempted by law) we believe that consumers should have the right to opt-out of all unwanted robocalls to their cell phones and landlines. This bill is not a consumer friendly bill. In their letter of September 23, 2011, the debt collection industry groups have encouraged the Committee to pass H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. However, they conveniently left out many of the effects of this bill from their letter. Among other things, H.R. 3035 will: - permit unlimited robocalls to cell phones from any company you ever gave your telephone number to, even if you asked them to stop, or even if you expressly told them the number you gave them was not to be used for solicitations. -permit unlimited calls to cell phones from computerized auto-dialers that dial thousands of phone numbers a minute, and then simply hang up after some percentage of the consumers answer the phone even where the consumer has to pay to receive the hang-up call. (This practice is called an “abandon” by dialer operators and happens millions of times a day to telephone land-lines, but is currently prohibited to cell phones.) -permit unlimited robocalls to cell phones from debt collectors that are calling wrong numbers, with no way for the wrongly-called party to stop those calls. - permit unlimited survey and push-poll calls to cell phones, despite the fact that many consumers will have to pay just to receive those calls. - permit unlimited solicitation robocalls to cell phones from tax-exempt nonprofit entities. Because there have been many instances where scofflaw telemarketers sought to evade the TCPA’s restrictions by forming sham nonprofit entities to make prerecorded telemarketing calls, the last category of calls in the list above is especially troubling. The debt-collection industry group's claim that most consumer have “flat-rate” cell phone plans is misleading. Many consumers, use cell phone plans such as the AT&T GoPhone, where a single call to the consumer can cost that consumer $2.00, even if they do not answer the call. Many other consumers have plans that have a flat rate for a specific volume of calls, but then charge the consumer a per-minute charge when the plan's minutes are used up. Nor does this bill provide that a consumer has a right to require a business stop calling their cell phone. We urge Congress not to pass this bill.

Share

Under the guise of modernization and providing consumers with more “information” the ACA, International – an association of debt collectors – has obtained Congressional support for a dangerous proposal that would allow debt collectors to flood cell phones with robo-calls. The bill, HR 3035 Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011, was introduced on September 22, 2011 by Congressmen Lee Terry (R-NE), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jim Matheson (D-UT). If HR 3035 is enacted, every day around the country consumer cell phones will be flooded with harassing and nuisance phone calls. “HR 3035 is a bad idea and far from a modern approach. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which this bill seeks to modify, was Congress’ response to consumer “outrage over the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls to their homes from telemarketers and debt collectors. HR 3035 takes us a huge step back in time and seeks to plunge consumers back into daily deluges of phone calls from debt collectors” says Delicia Reynolds, Legislative Director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. HR 3035 will allow stores were people shop or companies that they do businesses with to use predictive dialers to send promotional advertisements to consumers’ cell phones, which will overwhelm consumer’s cell phones and shift the costs of these ads to consumers. To make matters worse, consumers will not even be able to opt-out of receiving these robo-calls because under the proposed legislation ‘any prior relationship’ with a business would qualify as consent for the purposes of receiving a so-called ‘informational phone call.’ Debt collectors already have sufficient access to consumers and still frequently violate the law by repeatedly making collection calls to consumer cellular phones using automatic dialing systems and leaving prerecorded voicemail messages, in violation of the law.[1]” “This is a terrible proposal,” said Reynolds, “consumers, struggling to make ends meet and keep their jobs, do not need this added burden and distraction. Nor do they need to use up scarce minutes on their cell phones. If passed, HR 3035 would open the floodgates for debt collection robo-calls and would also permit telemarketers to robo-dial any number that is not on the do-not-call list with impunity, as often as they want. Congress needs to act not and ensure this harmful proposal does not become law. http://www.naca.net/news/house-proposal-would-flood-consumer-cell-phones-nuisance-and-debt-collection-phone-calls

Share

The real purpose of H.R. 3035 is to open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls (to not only the debtor but everyone else). The bill would effectively gut the TCPA, a widely popular statute that protects Americans from the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls from telemarketers and others whose use of technology “may be abusive or harassment.” In 1991 Congress found that unwanted automated calls were a “nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call” and that banning such calls was “the only effective means of protecting telephone consumers from this nuisance and privacy invasion.” Automated predictive dialers would be exempt from the TCPA, permitting repetitive “phantom” calls to cell phones, doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers. Predictive dialers use a computer to call telephones based on predictions of when someone will answer and when a human caller will be available. They are the source of calls that begin with a long pause and of calls with no one on the other end (if the prediction of the human caller’s availability is wrong.) Since the purpose of predictive dialers is to get someone to answer, computers often call a number repeatedly throughout the day. The TCPA currently prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls, with certain exceptions, to (1) any emergency telephone line (including 911, hospitals, medical offices, health care facilities, poison control centers, fire protection or law enforcement agencies), (2) guest or patient room of hospital, health care facility, elderly home, (3) pagers or (4) cell phones. H.R. 3035 would revise the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” so that modern predictive dialers, which do not use random or sequential number generators, would be outside of the TCPA’s protections. Calls could even be made for solicitation purposes unless the telephone number is a residential one on the Do Not Call list. Businesses could make prerecorded robo-calls to anyone’s personal or business cell phone for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation, including debt collection, surveys, “how did you like your recent shopping experience,” and “we’ve enhanced our service” – even if you are on the Do-Not-Call list. TCPA currently prohibits robo-calls to cell phones unless the consumer has provided prior express consent. H.R. 3035 would add a new exception permitting robo-calls to cell phones for any commercial call that is not a solicitation. The possibilities are endless. The Do Not Call list protects people only from telemarketing calls, not these other calls. Debt collection calls would be made to the cell phones of friends, family, neighbors, employers, or strangers with similar names or numbers. Families struggling in the current economy will be hounded on their cell phones, even if they have a landline that the collector could call, and even if the call uses up precious cell phone minutes or incurs per-minute charges for those with prepay phones. Commercial calls for debt collection or other commercial purposes could be made even if the consumer never gave out his or her cell phone number—the business could call if it found the consumer’s cell phone number on Google or by purchasing a list from entities that collect that information. Read more: http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/legislation/opposition-letter-hr-3035.pdf

Share

The real purpose of H.R. 3035 is to open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls (to not only the debtor but everyone else). The bill would effectively gut the TCPA, a widely popular statute that protects Americans from the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls from telemarketers and others whose use of technology “may be abusive or harassment.” In 1991 Congress found that unwanted automated calls were a “nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call” and that banning such calls was “the only effective means of protecting telephone consumers from this nuisance and privacy invasion.” Automated predictive dialers would be exempt from the TCPA, permitting repetitive “phantom” calls to cell phones, doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers. Predictive dialers use a computer to call telephones based on predictions of when someone will answer and when a human caller will be available. They are the source of calls that begin with a long pause and of calls with no one on the other end (if the prediction of the human caller’s availability is wrong.) Since the purpose of predictive dialers is to get someone to answer, computers often call a number repeatedly throughout the day. The TCPA currently prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls, with certain exceptions, to (1) any emergency telephone line (including 911, hospitals, medical offices, health care facilities, poison control centers, fire protection or law enforcement agencies), (2) guest or patient room of hospital, health care facility, elderly home, (3) pagers or (4) cell phones. H.R. 3035 would revise the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” so that modern predictive dialers, which do not use random or sequential number generators, would be outside of the TCPA’s protections. Calls could even be made for solicitation purposes unless the telephone number is a residential one on the Do Not Call list. Businesses could make prerecorded robo-calls to anyone’s personal or business cell phone for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation, including debt collection, surveys, “how did you like your recent shopping experience,” and “we’ve enhanced our service” – even if you are on the Do-Not-Call list. TCPA currently prohibits robo-calls to cell phones unless the consumer has provided prior express consent. H.R. 3035 would add a new exception permitting robo-calls to cell phones for any commercial call that is not a solicitation. The possibilities are endless. The Do Not Call list protects people only from telemarketing calls, not these other calls. Debt collection calls would be made to the cell phones of friends, family, neighbors, employers, or strangers with similar names or numbers. Families struggling in the current economy will be hounded on their cell phones, even if they have a landline that the collector could call, and even if the call uses up precious cell phone minutes or incurs per-minute charges for those with prepay phones. Commercial calls for debt collection or other commercial purposes could be made even if the consumer never gave out his or her cell phone number—the business could call if it found the consumer’s cell phone number on Google or by purchasing a list from entities that collect that information. Read more: http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/legislation/opposition-letter-hr-3035.pdf

Share
Consumer Action 3 years ago

The real purpose of H.R. 3035 is to open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls (to not only the debtor but everyone else). The bill would effectively gut the TCPA, a widely popular statute that protects Americans from the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls from telemarketers and others whose use of technology “may be abusive or harassment.” In 1991 Congress found that unwanted automated calls were a “nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call” and that banning such calls was “the only effective means of protecting telephone consumers from this nuisance and privacy invasion.” Automated predictive dialers would be exempt from the TCPA, permitting repetitive “phantom” calls to cell phones, doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers. Predictive dialers use a computer to call telephones based on predictions of when someone will answer and when a human caller will be available. They are the source of calls that begin with a long pause and of calls with no one on the other end (if the prediction of the human caller’s availability is wrong.) Since the purpose of predictive dialers is to get someone to answer, computers often call a number repeatedly throughout the day. The TCPA currently prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls, with certain exceptions, to (1) any emergency telephone line (including 911, hospitals, medical offices, health care facilities, poison control centers, fire protection or law enforcement agencies), (2) guest or patient room of hospital, health care facility, elderly home, (3) pagers or (4) cell phones. H.R. 3035 would revise the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” so that modern predictive dialers, which do not use random or sequential number generators, would be outside of the TCPA’s protections. Calls could even be made for solicitation purposes unless the telephone number is a residential one on the Do Not Call list. Businesses could make prerecorded robo-calls to anyone’s personal or business cell phone for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation, including debt collection, surveys, “how did you like your recent shopping experience,” and “we’ve enhanced our service” – even if you are on the Do-Not-Call list. TCPA currently prohibits robo-calls to cell phones unless the consumer has provided prior express consent. H.R. 3035 would add a new exception permitting robo-calls to cell phones for any commercial call that is not a solicitation. The possibilities are endless. The Do Not Call list protects people only from telemarketing calls, not these other calls. Debt collection calls would be made to the cell phones of friends, family, neighbors, employers, or strangers with similar names or numbers. Families struggling in the current economy will be hounded on their cell phones, even if they have a landline that the collector could call, and even if the call uses up precious cell phone minutes or incurs per-minute charges for those with prepay phones. Commercial calls for debt collection or other commercial purposes could be made even if the consumer never gave out his or her cell phone number—the business could call if it found the consumer’s cell phone number on Google or by purchasing a list from entities that collect that information. Read more: http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/legislation/opposition-letter-hr-3035.pdf

Share

The real purpose of H.R. 3035 is to open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls (to not only the debtor but everyone else). The bill would effectively gut the TCPA, a widely popular statute that protects Americans from the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls from telemarketers and others whose use of technology “may be abusive or harassment.” In 1991 Congress found that unwanted automated calls were a “nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call” and that banning such calls was “the only effective means of protecting telephone consumers from this nuisance and privacy invasion.” Automated predictive dialers would be exempt from the TCPA, permitting repetitive “phantom” calls to cell phones, doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers. Predictive dialers use a computer to call telephones based on predictions of when someone will answer and when a human caller will be available. They are the source of calls that begin with a long pause and of calls with no one on the other end (if the prediction of the human caller’s availability is wrong.) Since the purpose of predictive dialers is to get someone to answer, computers often call a number repeatedly throughout the day. The TCPA currently prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls, with certain exceptions, to (1) any emergency telephone line (including 911, hospitals, medical offices, health care facilities, poison control centers, fire protection or law enforcement agencies), (2) guest or patient room of hospital, health care facility, elderly home, (3) pagers or (4) cell phones. H.R. 3035 would revise the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” so that modern predictive dialers, which do not use random or sequential number generators, would be outside of the TCPA’s protections. Calls could even be made for solicitation purposes unless the telephone number is a residential one on the Do Not Call list. Businesses could make prerecorded robo-calls to anyone’s personal or business cell phone for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation, including debt collection, surveys, “how did you like your recent shopping experience,” and “we’ve enhanced our service” – even if you are on the Do-Not-Call list. TCPA currently prohibits robo-calls to cell phones unless the consumer has provided prior express consent. H.R. 3035 would add a new exception permitting robo-calls to cell phones for any commercial call that is not a solicitation. The possibilities are endless. The Do Not Call list protects people only from telemarketing calls, not these other calls. Debt collection calls would be made to the cell phones of friends, family, neighbors, employers, or strangers with similar names or numbers. Families struggling in the current economy will be hounded on their cell phones, even if they have a landline that the collector could call, and even if the call uses up precious cell phone minutes or incurs per-minute charges for those with prepay phones. Commercial calls for debt collection or other commercial purposes could be made even if the consumer never gave out his or her cell phone number—the business could call if it found the consumer’s cell phone number on Google or by purchasing a list from entities that collect that information. Read more: http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/legislation/opposition-letter-hr-3035.pdf

Share
Consumer Watchdog 3 years ago

Users Supporting

No constiutents supporting yet.

Users Opposing

No constituents opposing yet.

Bill Summary

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3034 San Francisco Bay Restoration Act of 2011 H.R. 3036 Ready-to-Compete Act