Understanding the TCPA and its implications for using autodialers with CATI systems

Confirmit Team

Confirmit Team

Author Bio

Confirmit’s dedicated teams work to deliver world-leading customer experience, Voice of the Employee and Market Research solutions. 

Author Bio

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was introduced in the United States in 1991 to protect consumers from the invasion of privacy caused by telemarketing phone calls and faxes. 



TCPA rules mandated a requirement for express prior consent to use an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS or Autodialer) to make non-emergency calls to cellular phones. At the time the Act was passed into law, the legal restrictions didn’t really concern Market Research companies since the majority of respondents could be contacted via landline. Today, however, the situation is very different with an estimated 50-60% of US households opting out of landlines in favor of using their cell phones for all telephone communications.

What Are the Penalties for Noncompliance? 

The TCPA provides for actual damages or statutory damages that begin at $500 per call and can be increased up to $1,500 per call for willful violations. When multiplied against a large volume of calls the total damages can be significant. Claims for TCPA violations are often brought as class action cases and fillings have risen sharply in recent years.

On July 10, 2015 an FCC ruling was released in an attempt to clarify what equipment is defined as an autodialer and how companies can deal telephone numbers transferring from consenting to non-consenting respondents. With this ruling, the definition of “autodialer” was broadened and many Market Research companies are now facing many serious compliance questions.

Confirmit is continuing to monitor developments and has been working closely with its dialer partners to come up with solutions to help customers comply with the TCPA rules and regulations.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about Confirmit CATI and TCPA.