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Thing of Beauty: R.E.A.C.H.’s FCC Comment on One-to-One Rule’s Impact on Small Business Is READY–And You’ll Love It
Monday, February 26, 2024

So Responsible Enterprises Against Consumer Harassment (R.E.A.C.H.) has been protecting consumers from unwanted calls for over a year now.

But it has also been trying to educate the Commission on the GREAT role small businesses have in helping consumers to obtained the products and services they need.

The FCC now agrees comparison shopping websites and lead generators more broadly do provide an important value to consumers, but the Commission still proceeded with its one-to-one rule late last year–while re-opening the comment period to gather more information on the rule’s impact on small business.

Well TODAY IS THE DEADLINE for submissions.

We will bring you coverage of various other comments tomorrow, but for today I figured I would showcase the highly-anticipated R.E.A.C.H. comment.

And here it is: Comment to NPRM 02.18.2024

Beautiful, no?

Couple of things here.

First, R.E.A.C.H. is NOT challenging the core of the one-to-one concept. The Commission has spoken on that piece and is unlikely to entirely abandon the rule.

Instead we are focused on limiting some of the damage done by the rule by softening certain pieces of it and firming up others.

For instance, R.E.A.C.H. advocates for changing the word “seller” in the CFR to “entity” to clarify that a consumer can agree to hear from a single marketer/broker and not just from an ultimate seller of a good or service. This is important because many small businesses operate as “finders” to assist consumers to get the best deals on insurance, lending products, and other services but DO NOT know who to connect the consumer to until the finder/broker actually speaks with the consumer.

And although the FCC’s rule notes that it only applies to “robocalls” we know what Congress is up to right now–and so does the Commission. So this rule could end up having VERY broad application indeed.

Further, R.E.A.C.H. emphasizes that the core value to a consumer in comparison shopping is NOT having to decide–on limited information–which company they want to do business with. Rather the website operator can use algorithms to help determine what business is the best fit for that consumer. So instead of requiring the consumer to blindly choose which business to hear from–which strengthens the power of big well-known businesses and diminishes that of small business–the website should have the responsibility of choosing the one entity the consumer hears from.

R.E.A.C.H. also urges the commission to clarify the logically and topically related standard a smidge so that firm offers on websites don’t go away–obviously companies will stop mentioning 5% mortgage rates on websites if not everyone qualifies and a guy who qualifies for a 6% mortgage rate can’t be spoken to because it isn’t “logically” related to the 5% rate he was seeking. The result will be less information for the consumer-which is bad, and not good.

Finally we remind the Commission the NCLC and the plaintiff’s bar are more closely aligned than ever–and ready to pounce.

Indeed, did you hear that Liz Cabraser–whose firm has made MILLIONS bringing TCPA class actions–is now on the board of NCLC?????

My goodness.

Well you can expect plenty more efforts by the NCLC to expand the TCPA and assure easy access to courthouses for greedy (rich) Plaintiff’s lawyers who come after small businesses with shakedown lawsuits.


But R.E.A.C.H. is fighting back and hoping the FCC will take these concerns seriously–and I really think they will. The Small Business Administration is quite strong over there and the Commission DOES try to protect small companies. So we will see how this goes.

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