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FCC Adopts Rule That Ringless Voicemails Are Robocalls

The entrance to the FCC offices in Washington, D.C.

On November 21, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling and order officially confirming that ringless voicemail (RVM) calls are subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) restrictions on robocalls. This comes in response to a petition from All About the Message, LLC requesting a declaration that RVM is not subject to the TCPA’s rules about prerecorded voice calls.

This rule does not come as a surprise. The FCC proposed this ruling back in February and courts have not been favorable to arguments that RVM is not covered by the TCPA. This is why we named it one of the riskiest dialing methods in our guide on the subject. It is nonetheless instructive to have official guidance on the subject. Callers should be advised that any RVM campaigns must be in compliance with the TCPA’s rules against prerecorded marketing calls without prior express written consent.