On April 7, 2022, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice supplementing previous guidance on the Reassigned Numbers Database to clarify that callers may be eligible for a safe harbor from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when an authorized agent queries the database on their behalf. You may recall, that in 2018, the Commission established a Reassigned Numbers Database, which callers are required to check to ensure that they are reaching consumers that expect their calls and avoid calling consumers with reassigned numbers who may not wish to receive the call.
The notice clarifies that a caller that otherwise meets the criteria for the safe harbor does not need to perform the query of the database itself, but may instead rely on a query made on its behalf by a duly authorized agent. Nevertheless, callers, not their agents, are ultimately responsible for providing proof that the most recent version of the database was queried and it returned an erroneous response. Callers should also be prepared to prove they authorized the agent to query the database on its behalf prior to making the call at issue.
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