On April 7, 2022, the FCC issued supplemental guidance for users of the reassigned numbers database. The guidance was issued as CG Docket No. 17-59 and supplements the FCC's earlier guidance about the safe harbor available to callers that use the reassigned numbers database.
The FCC's reassigned numbers database (or “RND”) was established to address the problem of unwanted calls to consumers who have phone numbers that were reassigned from previous customers. Read our article discussing the reassigned numbers database for more information.
The original order establishing the RND established a “safe harbor” for callers who query the RND before making a call (if that call then resulted in a TCPA violation, the caller would fall in the safe harbor). However, the original order did not clarify whether that safe harbor extends to a caller who relies on an agent to query the RND.
For example, many callers (such as BPOs) use services from agents such as DNC.com to query the RND before making calls.
The new supplemental order from the FCC clarifies that callers that use an agent to query the RND are in fact eligible for the safe harbor.
The order does not significantly modify the FCC's view of the RND – however, it does close a potential loophole and should provide some certainty for callers.
Callers that rely on agents to query the database should be aware that they (the caller) are responsible for providing proof that the most recent version of the RND database was queried and that the database returned an erroneous response. As a result, callers that rely on agents should do their due diligence and confirm the agent does query the most recent version of the database.