“If you give me your number, I can call it, however I want.” For more than twenty years this statement has summarized the Federal Communications Commission view of prior express consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. On September 29, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vindicated that view by overruling an outlier federal district court decision which caused trepidation among businesses using automatic telephone dialing system to reach customers.
Here is a reminder of the facts of Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau: In 2009, Mark Mais went to the Westside Regional Hospital emergency room in Broward County, Florida for treatment. His wife Laura completed the admission paperwork and provided his cell phone number to the hospital admitting staff. Florida United Radiology provided services for Mais that day. It later sent Mais a bill for $49.03. Mais did not pay. His debt was referred to the Gulf Coast Collection Agency. Gulf Coast uses an automatic telephone system to call debtors. It called Mais somewhere between 15 and 30 times with an automatic telephone dialing system in an effort to collect. Continue reading this entry