(Glastonbury, CT) The Marketing Research Association (MRA) filed official comments today objecting to a new proposed regulation from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Proposed Rule would add restrictions to calls made to cell phones, making it even harder for researchers to call cell phone users.

Buried within the FCC Proposed Rule, ostensibly dealing only with telemarketing automated calls known as “robocalls,” is a requirement that anyone seeking consent to dial a cell phone with an automatic telephone dialing system adhere to onerous rules to obtain respondent consent to receive research calls – the same process as the FCC proposes for telemarketing robocalls. This proposed rule would require a clear and specific written agreement, signed by the cell phone user, to receive calls from researchers using an autodialer.

MRA’s Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg, PLC, expressed concern on behalf of the survey and opinion research profession. “With the ‘cell phone only’ and ‘cell phone mostly’ populations totaling 40 percent of American households, researchers need to be able to include cell phone users in their studies in order to have viable samples.”

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) currently requires express prior consent for any autodialed call to a cell phone.

“The FCC proposes to make the archaic autodialer restrictions of the TCPA even worse, threatening the integrity and results of survey and opinion research,” said Howard.