DMA takes stand against FCC claim in mobile porting

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The Direct Marketing Association has filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the Petition for Expedited Clarification and Declaratory Ruling, filed by Paul D.S. Edwards, president/CEO, of the Consumer Information Center Inc.

The DMA's comments address how the “porting” of a customer's telephone numbers from landlines to mobile affects the ability of marketers to contact those customers.

Edwards' petition raises concerns that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, aka the Do-Not-Call-List, may be violated. The petition claims that, “when the creditor is initially provided a ‘landline' telephone number, and subsequently that ‘landline' number is ported to a cellular telephone, an established business relationship, ‘prior express consent,' or other exemption from section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) of the TCPA is not created.”

The DMA's response to this claim is that the changing of format should not change the relationship.

“Changing the underlying telecommunications service used by the consumer should not destroy a consumer's expectation, or desire, that a business will continue to call the consumer at the telephone number provided by the consumer,” said Jerry Cerasale, SVP of government affairs at the DMA, in his letter to the FCC. “The critical issue is whether the consumer consented to be contacted at a particular number, instead of focusing on a particular telecommunications service employed by the consumer.” 

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