Dear Telephone Consumer Protection Act –
Do you mind if I call you TCPA? I feel like I’ve spent so much time studying you that it would be OK. Today marks a very special birthday for you. It is hard to believe that 25 years ago president George H. W. Bush signed you into law. While you have been the target of a lot of my ‘Stages of Grief’ presentations, I wanted to say something nice about you on your special day.
Back when you were born you helped establish guidelines about setting up the Do Not Call Registry, attacking junk faxes, and establishing times in which people could be called at their homes. Before you came along, I was getting 2-3 calls a night asking me to switch my long distance carrier. You really cut that down, which in turn helped improve response rates for telephone survey research.
A lot has changed in the last 25 years as texting and cell phones grew into prominence and your power and scope grew along with it. The last few years have been particularly hard for our relationship as there has been collateral damage to legitimate public opinion research as you go about doing your job. It has been encouraging to see the courts of late put more weight on your ‘Human Intervention’ pieces, but I’m still worried about you.
I look forward to seeing how you grow and change now that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will be stepping down on January 20, 2017 and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s term will be expiring. I know that no more than 3 of the 5 commissioners can belong to the same party so President Trump will appoint someone from each party. I eagerly await seeing how you change with the times and hope that we will see greater clarity in 2017.
So again, Happy Birthday. I hope you don’t mind getting this via email. I would have called or texted, but I was concerned you would interpret my iPhone as an ATDS and you would have filed a class action lawsuit against me.
Executing projects for research professionals since 1970
Many Thanks to our friend Bob Davis for permission to post this message to colleagues and associates marking 25 years of navigating TCPA rules. Bob is the TCPA Taskforce Chair at AAPOR.