New Dialing Law Goes into Effect on 12/3/19: What You Need to Know

PA State Bill Signed into Law By Governor.

If you had plans to call or text your Pennsylvania consumer-base during a legal holiday, you might want to rethink your marketing strategy. In one of the most stringent bills of its kind, HB-318 passed through the PA House back in February. It lingered around in the chamber for a few months before sailing through the Senate with a vote of 49-0 in September. On October 4, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed the Bill into law, becoming effective December 3, 2019. While there is a few week grace period to retool systems your systems, Drips has proactively made the below updates to our best practices, and we suggest you do as well. The new law impacts all solicitation calls (including text messages) on all legal holidays.

What this Means for Marketers

The Telemarketer Registration Act, as now amended, provides that on legal holidays solicitation calls and text messages are expressly forbidden by law. A requirement of this severity is extremely rare. The law also puts into place a variety of other rules for “robocalls” in regard to procedures for upholding an internal DNC protocol.  

With the passage of the new law, DNC requests will no longer expire. 

Instead, a caller has to honor the request until the called party explicitly requests the “robocalls” to be turned back on. And the likelihood of that is zero to none unless the prospect opts-in down the road.  

This law should apply to any opt-in consent call where a prospect is not yet a customer or has completed a transaction with an order.  

Any follow-up with customers that is not sales-oriented (administrative in nature) should not be affected by this new law. 

As for calling a live lead on a legal holiday, the Act provides no exceptions. But, some opine that if a consumer has explicitly expressed interest or requested additional information from a company that particular day, then it would be an affirmative defense to any claim that a company shouldn’t contact a consumer because it’s a holiday. There are instances where consumers may be spending time online, filling out lead forms, or requesting information because they have free time due to the holiday. This would present a gray area for companies. While Drips will still converse with live users requesting contact, we do not suggest sending out scheduled messages (e.g. 2-days later) or calls that are not requested (e.g. “call me now please”) from PA prospects  on these holidays. All scheduled drips will be skipped to protect your users rights.

State Holidays Impacted by the Pennsylvania Bill

While the new law does not specifically define a “legal holiday” in Pennsylvania, below is a list of all state holidays defined for employees that Drips will adhere to:  

January 1 New Year’s Day 
Third Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
February 12 Lincoln’s Birthday 
Third Monday in February Presidents’ Day 
The Friday before Easter Sunday Good Friday 
Last Monday in May Memorial Day 
June 14 Flag Day 
July 4 Independence Day 
First Monday in September Labor Day 
Second Monday in October    Columbus Day 
First Tuesday after the first Monday in November Election Day 
November 11 Veterans Day 
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving 
December 25 Christmas 

Our Continued Commitment to Compliance

As a reminder, Drips maintains a best-in-class database built to support specific state-level times, natural disasters, holidays and nuances, as well as federal guidelines. We have and continue to innovate and evolve best practices and methodologies around compliance in conversational texting ® These fail-safes in our system are designed to adhere to all federal and local laws, bills, and regulatory movements. If you are a Drips client, you can rest assured that any Drips related communication in Pennsylvania will adhere to this new law as described above.  

Disclaimer: This blog and all information contained in it are for educational and informational purposes only.  Neither Drips nor any of the writers in this blog are law firms or attorneys, and nothing herein should be construed as or relied on as legal advice.  Drips and the authors herein disclaim any obligations relating to the timeliness or accuracy of the information contained here.  No warranties should be implied. Although intended to be current and accurate, regulations and court rulings, as well as interpretations of the same, are always changing and we recommend consulting with your own counsel.