WASHINGTON-CUNA, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and seven other organizations, filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission in opposition to the written, but yet to be implemented, do-not-fax rule under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The FCC also approved a rule that would prohibit faxing entities without explicit, written permission, but implementation of that rule has been pushed back from August 25, 2003 to January 1, 2005 due to an outcry from all sectors of industry. Previously, organizations only had to demonstrate an existing business relationship to send fax solicitations. “CUNA would like to point out that one peculiar – and likely unintended – result of the revised facsimile advertisement rules is that while it can directly market to its members via phone, e-mail, and direct mail without their permission, it will no longer be able to do so if these rules are allowed to go into effect,” the petition read. In the section of the petition that discusses effects on business, CUNA said that it could not provide cost estimates in the short amount of time prior to the filing. However, the credit union trade organization estimated that it made over $1 million, more than 5% of CUNA’s fee-based revenue, from fax marketing of fax reply (fax on demand) last year. The group also estimated that it sent more than 1.3 million faxes in 2002 and that it currently sends faxes to 8,800 unique fax numbers. CUNA also provides fax-related services for 20 credit union leagues and league-related organizations, five corporate credit unions, and two natural person credit unions. “[E]nsuring that its activities are in compliance with those rules likely will take a significant investment of staff time that could be better spent on serving the needs of its members,” according to CUNA. The petition claimed that the FCC violated the notice and comment procedures in the Administrative Procedures Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and the First Amendment. The rule also does not allow for appropriate review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, the petition asserted. Additionally, the petition concludes that the FCC’s new fax rules go beyond its powers granted under TCPA. In addition to the official petitioners, over 1,000 letters have been sent to the FCC and more than 3,000 to members of Congress on the rule, the petition read. [email protected]

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