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A new comprehensive reassigned numbers database should significantly reduce how many wrong numbers and robocalls you receive when you get a new phone number.
New Database Could Stem Tide of TCPA Violations
One of the risks of getting a new phone number is that you will spend the first few weeks to months fielding calls for the person who used to have your number. Even though you keep telling the callers that you just got the new number, you may still be bombarded with these wrong number calls.
Currently, if a company calls you repeatedly after you have told them not to, the company may be violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The penalties for these violations are $500 to $1,500 per call. But how does the company know the number they have been calling has been reassigned to someone else who does not welcome the calls? Until they call, they don’t.
In an effort to reduce the number of ‘wrong number calls’ consumers are receiving, and to make it easier for a company to follow TCPA guidelines, the Federal Communications Commission is creating a centralized reassigned numbers database that companies will be able to check before they start calling your number.
New Procedures Should Reduce Wrong Numbers
The rules the FCC approved in December 2018 should reduce the number of wrong number calls you receive as the database will give companies a way to verify the number still belongs to the person they are trying to call.
This is how it will work. Telephone providers will report disconnected phone numbers to the database administrator by the 15th of each month. Companies will pay a fee to review the database and cross-reference their call list against permanently disconnected numbers. To make the fee more appealing, the FCC included a ‘safe harbor’ protocol that will shield a company who calls a reassigned number after depending on the reassigned numbers database from TCPA liability, i.e., a lawsuit.
Disconnections caused by customer non-payment will not be added to the database. The database will not be retroactive, however, so only new disconnects will be added. The agency also added in a 45-day waiting period before disconnected numbers can be reassigned, and the database will not include carrier or subscriber information, and companies who use it must certify in writing that the database will only be used for legal calls.
Once the database is established, companies can query it by date and phone number to receive a response of no or yes, depending on if the number has been disconnected since the date searched. The safe harbor protocol will apply to companies who searched and trusted the database when making calls.
With the National Do Not Call Registry and the new reassigned numbers database, companies will have fewer excuses when it comes to making harassing and unwanted called. To make things even easier, the FCC is considering combing the two databases.
If you are the victim of phone harassment, robocalls, autodialers, or continuing calls for wrong numbers, contact us today. We may be able to help make the harassment stop and get you significant financial compensation for your troubles. Contact us now to learn more.