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Under TCPA, can a bank assign a customer's time zone based on their area code?

My bank has an agreement with an internet site to receive leads for customers looking for information on home loan rates. The only information the lead company provides to the bank is the name and phone number of the person expressing interest. The bank then calls that person to provide rate information and discuss home loan products.

The problem is that the bank bases the time it calls on the area code of the phone number, so it is possible that the bank is calling a person who lives on the east coast but has a mobile number with a west coast area code. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a telemarketer may only make telemarketing calls to any residential telephone subscriber between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the called party’s location. Therefore, the bank could be reaching the customer at a time outside the permissible hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the customer’s location. How should the bank handle this?

You have identified a compliance challenge with the TCPA. The regulation states, “No person or entity shall initiate any telephone solicitation to: (1) any residential telephone subscriber before the hour of 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. (local time at the called party’s location).” (47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(c)(1)). In this case, the call the bank places may not be a telephone solicitation, as the bank is placing the call in response to the customer’s request.  Nonetheless, it may be prudent for the bank to take steps to place calls during the permissible 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. time period where the customer is located. The bank may wish to consider asking the internet lead generator to provide the customer’s address, along with the area code and phone number. (June 2019)

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