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FCC Adopts One-to-One Consent Rule, Advocated by AG Nessel, to Protect Consumers from Unwanted Telemarketing Robocalls and Robotexts

LANSING — Using input from a coalition of state attorneys general, including Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has amended a rule governing telemarketing communications, requiring individual businesses to obtain written consent from consumers before sending robotexts and making robocalls. 

Under the prior rule, lead-generating businesses misled consumers who believed they were consenting to a single company’s telecommunications, only to receive, sometimes, hundreds of unwanted calls and text messages from industry competitors. 

The FCC’s new rule requires “one-to-one consent,” which prevents lead generators from obtaining consent on behalf of multiple businesses or sellers. AG Nessel joined a bipartisan coalition of 29 Attorneys General in filing a letter with the FCC in June, urging the commission to enact the one-to-one consent requirement. 

“I’m pleased that the Federal Communications Commission clarified its rule regarding robocalls and robotexts,” Nessel said. “This one-to-one consent rule will allow consumers to ‘opt in’ to the communications they want and avoid the thousands of unsolicited calls and texts from businesses who have purchased their information from lead generators. I am proud to have advocated alongside my colleagues in supporting this amended rule, and appreciate the FCC moving to protect consumers from deceptive practices that fuel the flood of robocalls and texts.” 

A common lead generation practice is to offer to give the consumer a quote for a good or service online (like insurance products), and in order to receive the quote, the consumer has to agree to receive calls and/or texts from the lead generator’s marketing partners. This often includes thousands of different businesses offering numerous different goods or services. Businesses are usually identified on a separate webpage only accessible via a hyperlink rather than listed outright. 

AG Nessel joined the June letter, along with the state attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  

A copy of the AG’s June letter can be found here.   

A copy of the FCC’s press release on the new one-to-one consent rule can be found here.


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