According to Federal Regulations, the legal definition of an automatic telephone dialing system or autodialer is “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator and to dial such numbers.” The FCC has separately interpreted this also to include other dialers that dial without human intervention, like predictive dialers, for example.
What are the risks?
Rapidly dialing calls can increase your abandonment rate, and is an easy way to rack up violations if you don’t have proper consent or are inadvertently calling restricted phone lines or reassigned numbers.
Are cell phones considered an autodialer?
It is not clear whether or not a cell phone would be considered an autodialer. In 2018’s ACA Int’l v. FCC decision, the D.C. Circuit Court struck down portions of the FCC’s 2015 rule interpreting the TCPA specifically because it would render every smartphone an autodialer. But the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision, six months later, in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC does potentially render some smartphones capable of being considered autodialers.
Monette v. Continental Finance Company, LLC
In this January 2018 decision, the Eastern District of Wisconsin court heard a case in which the plaintiff argued that the defendant repeatedly called her with an autodialer system despite not having her consent. On multiple occasions, the plaintiff spoke to a live agent. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff.