Similar to other industries (banking, healthcare, etc.), the energy industry views automated telephone calls and text messages as a current means of communication for a variety of reasons, such as notifying customers of energy-saving programs, unpaid balances, alternative billing arrangements or unplanned service outages. However, before utilizing automated calls or text messages, utilities need to be cognizant of the laws and regulations controlling their use.
For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) TCPA rules impose significant restrictions on automated calls and text messages, including those sent by utilities. With high-dollar consequences and unique challenges for the energy industry, utilities need to have strong compliance procedures in place for communicating with customers. Even a seemingly innocuous and well-intentioned text message can have very expensive ramifications.
The moment of clarity for utilities was the 2013 class action lawsuit for $100 million, Grant v. Commonwealth Edison Co., over a simple text entitled “You are now subscribed to ComEd outage alerts . . .” Although that case settled for $5 million, plaintiffs are continuing to pursue individual and class action TCPA lawsuits. It is clearly big business, with TCPA litigation growing by 560% between 2010 and 2014.
At EUCI’s “TCPA Compliance Conference,” attendees will hear from utilities, legal professionals, industry experts, and researchers as they share ideas and solutions for utility compliance, as well as the challenges on the horizon. This event will provide the opportunity for utility counsel, credit, communications, and customer service professionals to learn the key compliance tools and operational practices to help avoid multi-million dollar TCPA lawsuits.
Review what utilities need to know and implement in order to be TCPA compliant
Discuss programs and processes that enable utilities to avoid lawsuits
Explain details about the 2015 FCC TCPA decision and the recent utility sector ruling
Discuss consent management, verifying phone ownership, the FCC’s risk mitigation suggestions and additional factors that utilities need to consider
Explain how compliance can ameliorate the outage communication process
EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.
EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.
Requirements for Successful Completion of Program
Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.
This program will include case studies, panel discussions and PowerPoint presentations.