A petition filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to exempt ringless voicemails from anti-robocall rules has been withdrawn after heavy opposition from many parties.
Earlier this year, All About the Message LLC (AATM) filed a petition for a declaratory ruling before the FCC, requesting that the FCC issue a rule that would declare that delivering a voice message directly to a consumer's voicemail box does not constitute a "call" that is subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) general prohibition against the use of auto-dialers or pre-recorded voice messages (absent appropriate consent).
The request to withdraw the petition was made on June 20, 2017. A copy of the letter requesting the petition be withdrawn can be found here.
insideARM originally wrote about the petition on April 19, 2017.
On June 5, 2017 insideARM republished (with permission) an article written by three attorneys from the Venable LLC law firm that further discussed the petition and its potential impact.
It doesn’t take any significant research skills to find the various articles written about the opposition to the petition. As an example, see this article that discusses Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) position.
This letter from eleven U.S. Senators to FCC Chairman Pai, objecting to the technology was located after a quick search for the term “ringless voicemail”.
Finally, see this June 2, 2017 article in the Chicago Tribune written under the headline, “Hang up now on the idea of`Ringless voicemail'."
What does this mean? The only definitive thing that can be said is that the FCC will not rule on this petition. That may be a good thing. The issue has become very political. It is not clear how courts will rule on the issue if it is raised in TCPA litigation. Sometimes issues that are very political are often better resolved through the legal process.