SoundBite Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: SDBT), a leading global provider of cloud-based, multi-channel proactive customer communications, today announced its support for the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (H.R. 3035). This legislation will modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by enacting revisions to facilitate the delivery of time-sensitive consumer information to mobile devices, while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls.
The TCPA currently restricts informational calls that utilize technologies such as automated dialers and automated voice messaging to call 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.
Businesses increasingly rely on automated communications solutions such as predictive dialers and pre-recorded messages to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about fraudulent credit card activity, provide timely notice of flight cancellations, service appointment reminders and product recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account.
“Current regulations are out of step with an increasingly mobile consumer base and must evolve so that businesses can effectively communicate relevant and actionable information to help consumers make informed decisions about their personal finances,” said John Tallarico, vice president of Product Management at SoundBite Communications. “SoundBite applauds Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE) and Edolphus Towns (D-NY) for their leadership in introducing this critical amendment. We strongly urge individuals and consumer advocacy groups to recognize that the intent of this amendment is to improve the delivery of timely, relevant information to consumers while continuing to protect wireless consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls.”
The introduction of H.R. 3035 is a significant step forward towards the goal of modernizing the TCPA. SoundBite will continue to urge Congress to support and vote in favor of this legislation. It is the latest development in the ongoing battle over permissibility of calls to cell phones under the TCPA. In mid-September 2011, President Obama included a provision in his economic growth and deficit reduction plan that would allow government agencies to contact consumers on their cell phones for the purpose of debt collection.