The Federal Communications Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau has established guidelines for the reassigned number database, which is being created to help prevent companies from calling consumers with recently reassigned numbers, and avoid the threat of litigation and penalties for accidental TCPA violations.
The guidelines include definitions of the various terms the Database will employ when returning queries from users, and directions on how to query for a specific number the user intends to call. They also provide further detail on the amount the Database Administrator will be authorized to charge companies for access, and how funds collected in excess of operational costs will be utilized.
Database Response Definitions: Once the database is established, callers will enter a query for a phone number using the last date the caller is reasonably certain the consumer had the number (either by getting the consumer’s consent to call on that date or having actually called and reached the consumer on that date). For each query received, the Database will issue one of three responses to explain whether the number has been reassigned (or more accurately, permanently disconnected) since the date provided:
- Yes: The the number is in the Database and has been reassigned;
- No: The number has not been reassigned; or
- No Data: The Database does contain the relevant data to determine whether it has been reassigned.
Definition of Costs: – "Costs” for purposes of the Reassigned Numbers Database include a reasonable profit for the Database Administrator.
Disposition of Excess Funds: If the Administrator collects more money from subscription fees than is needed to fund the Database in a given year, the excess funds are to be utilized as follows:
- If the Database had a funding deficit in prior year(s), the Administrator will apply the excess funds to reduce or eliminate that deficit.
- Any excess funds that may remain after step 1 are to be used to repay the costs expended by the parties that funded the creation of the Database.