Since 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), has been protecting consumers from telemarketing calls and unwanted text solicitations. Fast forward to 2020, and the TCPA continues to expand its impact while also becoming a common type of litigation landing in federal court.
In order to send texts or make auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls to your consumers, you must comply with all TCPA regulations. And no one is immune. Some of the most historic TCPA fines and settlements involved major corporations including Dish Network, Capital One, and HSBC to name a few.
In general, TCPA laws prohibit contacting a consumer using an autodialer or prerecorded message to a consumer unless the company has prior express consent (sometimes it must be written) to contact them using either an autodialer or pre-recorded message/text/SMS.
Below are four things your company should know to better educate your employees on all TCPA regulations.
Opt-Ins are a Necessity
All of TCPA compliance starts with getting prior consent before calling, texting or delivering a voicemail to a customer’s phone. This opt-in process is the gateway to all compliance.
Some express consent means that a customer must check a box or reply with a written response that they opt-in to all communication with your business. Other times, it could mean simply providing their telephone number to your company, depending on the type of communication that will be used and if a solicitation will be made. Language must be clear, concise and easy to understand. Customers should know upfront exactly what they are opting-in for.
Making the Opt-Out Process Obvious
It’s no surprise that the importance of getting proper consent from customers to opt-in to your communications is equally as important when they want to opt-out. This means there needs to be a clear way for people to automatically stop receiving messages from your business. It is your responsibility to honor all opt-outs immediately.
By making the opt-out process obvious, reasonable and easily accessible, you will maintain compliance with TCPA while also keeping your customers happy.
There are Always Exceptions to the Rule
When it comes to communicating valuable information to your customers, there are certain times that emergency calls and texts are permitted – even without prior express consent. This is most relevant to companies such as banks, health care providers and other businesses that have ongoing relationships with customers.
A prime example would be an alert to a consumer from a pharmacy that a prescription was found to have had a contaminant that could be a danger to the consumer. While the company may not have written consent to send the text message, the information constitutes an emergency, and it could be most efficient to simultaneously send messages to consumers who had filled the same prescription.
Maintain Your Opt-Out List
No matter what your business is, you must maintain your own in-house, Do Not Call list that allows your customers to opt-out of receiving unwanted calls from your business.
With the slow death of landlines in favor of cell phones, it’s even more important that you know which of your customers are safe to call and how you’re allowed to communicate with them based on what type of communication they have opted-in to receive.
Our Ongoing Commitment to TCPA Compliance Regulations
Drips is proud to maintain a best-in-class database to support specific state-level and federal-level TCPA and similar communication guidelines. That means that we strive to comply with all changes and nuances associated with TCPA regulations. Our team works tirelessly to uphold TCPA and other telephonic communication guidelines and respect the privacy of our customers and their customers. We continue to evolve our best practices and methodologies to maintain our high standards of excellence and maintain our commitment to compliance in conversational texting®. If you have questions about TCPA laws or our innovative technology, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us.
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.