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The Curtain Closes but It’s Not the Final Act …Yet: Now We Wait for Small Businesses’ Comments to be Reviewed and Considered for the FCC’s NPRM for 1:1 Consent

The Curtain Closes but It’s Not the Final Act …Yet: Now We Wait for Small Businesses’ Comments to be Reviewed and Considered for the FCC’s NPRM for 1:1 Consent
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Yesterday was the last day for small businesses to comment on the FCC’s NPRM for the 1 to 1 consent, aside from R.E.A.C.H.’s beautiful comment there were meaningful comments from small businesses themselves. Some of them even echo similar issues with pointing to the overseas spammers and how in the FCC’s effort to protect consumers they may also be hindering them from comparative shopping at the same time.

We heard from Ian Hart who stated “The ‘one-to-one’ consent rule would destroy my business overnight. My small business (husband and wife team) will most likely have to shut down if this new ruling becomes law.” His small business provides a niche service to help consumers price compare a specific type of building. And finishes his statement with the request to not have his business which I am sure he has invested time, care, heck even love into being lumped in with spam regulations. Could you imagine something you worked so hard to build, gone overnight, heartbreaking really.

Another commenter, Advance Client Solutions, pointed out that their small business helps other small insurance businesses who cannot afford their own in-house marketing teams be effective in a competitive market. The 1 to 1 consent could have a potentially damaging effect on the smaller independent insurance companies that will face not only layoffs and boarding up businesses but the fact that consumers may face an increase in the cost of the end product (insurance is already expensive enough) and fewer options when comparative shopping. The smaller the consumers’ options are the higher the prices will more than likely go up.

Blue Ink Digital chimed in similar to Advance client Solutions stating “As a marketing company, for us to advertise economically we need to advertise nationwide and then deliver the inquires to local professionals. There are more than 2 million home service businesses in the U.S. representing more than 6 million professionals. The One-to-One requirement will make it extremely difficult if not impossible for us to advertise for those clients. Furthermore, a very good portion of our clients are small businesses that do not have the expertise, capital or ability to advertise digitally and much of their business relies upon companies like ours to connect them to consumer’s looking for that service that would not otherwise be able to find them.” They go on to describe the issue as “asking a carrot farmer to specify the exact grocery store that the carrot will be sold in before digging up the carrot. With a lot of cost and effort, the farmer may be able to specify the largest grocery chains but if the farmer is forced to implement this change the farmer would likely not sell to small local grocery stores given the logistical and regulatory burden being too high.” The little guys are going to get squeezed out as being a go-to option and that’s not good.

I will leave you with a final comment from JBW Business Consultants because I believe that it is so important to find a balance in an effort to combat unwanted calls. “It’s crucial for regulatory bodies to strike a balance between consumer protection and the economic vitality of small businesses, which are often the lifeblood of local and national economies.”

We have to applaud all of the small businesses that came forward, but will it be enough? For now, we will have to wait until the comments can be reviewed and considered. In the meantime, it’s probably best to start taking steps and exploring what the 1 to 1 consent might look like for your business. 

© 2024 Troutman Amin, LLP