Tatango Responds to FCC Inquiry on Reassigned Mobile Phone Numbers

TCPA Reassigned Mobile Telephone Numbers

Earlier this week, Tatango filed comments in response to an FCC inquiry regarding reassigned wireless telephone numbers. Tatango’s comments, which can be read here, call on the FCC to address an issue of liability for marketers caused by reassigned wireless phone numbers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

 

What’s the Issue?

Meet John! John loves pizza.
Pizza GIF
John gives his consent to receive marketing text messages from ACME Pizza using his mobile telephone number (222) 222-2222. Months later, John decides he wants to get rid of his existing mobile telephone number (222) 222-2222, and get a new one.

John’s wireless carrier will deactivate John’s existing number (222) 222-2222, and will activate a new number for John. With a limited amount of wireless telephone numbers available for use by each wireless carrier, John’s wireless carrier will need to eventually reassign John’s old number to someone new.

Now meet Jessica! Jessica is allergic to gluten and dairy, so not a big fan of pizza. Unfortunately for Jessica, her wireless carrier gave her John’s old “reassigned number”mobile number (222) 222-2222, and now she’s receiving marketing text messages from ACME Pizza.
Text Message Spam GIF
More unfortunate is that based on the FCC’s current interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), ACME Pizza is liable for those messages she receives from ACME Pizza. Liability for ACME Pizza can range between $500 – $1,500 for each text message received by Jessica, and others that find themselves in this situation.

 

What’s the Solution?

If you’re so inclined, we’ve painstakingly laid out what we at Tatango believe to be the best solution regarding this problem, which you can read in our 19-page comments to the FCC by clicking here. If you’re like me though, and would prefer to read the cliff-notes version, I’ve highlighted the most important aspects of our comments to the FCC below.

  1. All U.S. wireless carriers should be required to report when a mobile number is deactivated on their network. Essentially this would allow platform providers, such as Tatango, the ability to “scrub” those deactivated mobile numbers from messaging campaigns, before they’re reassigned to other consumers.
  2. These reports should be submitted in a timely fashion, be uniform in structure, accurate, and fabulous. The last one is optional ;)
  3. Tatango urges the Commission to propose and adopt rules that allow Commission-accredited aggregators to access reports from wireless carriers and make the aggregated data available to platform providers, such as Tatango.

 

How Can You Help?

It’s essential that we get as many marketers and other industry participants as possible to review the comments we filed, and agree to join in the positions offered by Tatango. To join, all you need to do is click here, and submit your name and email address.

We’ll then put you in contact with the TCPA Defense Force, a part of Innovista Law, which, at no cost to you, has agreed to produce a short document indicating that your company or organization is also concerned about this issue, and that you support the comments filed by Tatango.

Want to join in the positions offered to the FCC by Tatango? Click here, or the image below.

TCPA Reassigned Mobile Telephone Numbers


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  • Thanks for taking the lead on this Tatango. Class action lawsuits stemming from reassigned phone numbers have been a huge problem for all of us in the mobile marketing industry. We all try to follow the laws, but the current structure makes unanticipated violations very possible, even given proper diligence. Due to the potential problems associated with TCPA violations, many of our customers have abandoned text all together and moved the function to app push notifications instead. While app push notifications are a reasonable substitute, they do not replace the power of text messaging.

    Bob Bentz
    Author — Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing

  • Kudos to Derek and Tatango for a very informative response to the FCC. Thank you for taking the time to provide a detailed and thoughtful case that represents many of us in the calling and texting industry. Call-Em-All supports your message!
    – Brad Herrmann, Founder and President – Call-Em-All

  • Thanks Brad, greatly appreciate the kind words!

  • Couldn’t agree more Bob, thanks for your support!

  • Thank you for this thoughtful response! Great article and nice sense of humor too! 😉

  • Thanks, we try and keep things fun here at Tatango :)