A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas reaffirms the FCC’s interpretation that calls and text messages regarding consumer surveys and other market research do not qualify as restricted “telephone solicitations” or “telemarketing” under the TCPA or its implementing regulations. Although the outcome in this case is a positive development, organizations that engage in these types of communications should continue to monitor and assess the state of the law in other jurisdictions.
In Hunsinger v. Dynata LLC, the plaintiff was a serial pro se TCPA litigant whose phone number was registered on the FCC’s national do-not-call list at all relevant times. No. 22-cv-136-G-BT, 2023 WL 2377481, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 7, 2023). Mr. Hunsinger alleged that he received a single call from an unidentified caller asking him to visit Dynata’s website. Id. Hunsinger thereafter sent a letter demanding a copy of Dynata’s DNC policy, but Dynata declined and argued that Hunsinger had no legal basis for his demand. Id. Hunsinger claimed that he directed Dynata to place his number on its internal DNC list but that he subsequently received a single SMS text message that contained a link to another website affiliated with Dynata. Id. at *2.