The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the bedrock of federal telemarketing regulations and has been bolstered by the TRACED Act and numerous court decisions over the past few years. The act restricts autodialing and prerecorded calls to residential lines unless they have received direct express written consent from the called party and prohibits calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, so learn how to keep your company up to date.
Having a checklist of best practices to follow is an effective way to avoid TCPA violations and keep your agency legal and safe; however, the landscape can be extremely complicated and constantly evolving, so it is important to work with a trusted legal partner.
One of the most important parts of a checklist is consent management which involves obtaining and managing consent from consumers before calling them or sending those SMS messages.
The right type of consent can make a big difference in how a call center operates as it will help you avoid fines and legal problems and ensure that you only reach consumers who are willing to be contacted by your agency.
A checklist can be an invaluable tool for any business owner or agent working in the call center industry and can also be used to educate new team members and help them navigate the regulations.
Compliance is critical for all businesses that use telemarketing to promote their products and services and without a clear understanding of TCPA regulations, business owners and staff could face serious consequences such as class-action lawsuits or hefty fines.
1. First, ensure that all of your employees understand the TCPA and how it applies to their work which you can do through training sessions or through the help of a third-party company that provides compliance consulting.
2. Getting consent can be as simple as asking for it on your website, sending a text message or key pressing a button on an automated phone answering system, so if you’re unsure about the consent process, consult with your legal counsel before sending out any marketing messages.
3. You should also make it easy for consumers to opt out of your SMS marketing which means that you should include a “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE” message with each text that you send out. Additionally, you should honor any opt-outs and respect the rights of individuals to keep their personal information private.
4. Finally, it’s important to honor the National Do Not Call Registry and keep your own do-not-contact list which can be a difficult process, but it’s essential for avoiding any hefty violations and costly fines.
With TCPA violations costing marketers up to $1500 per violation, it’s essential for all marketers to know their way around laws. With these new TCPA compliances and telemarketing compliance laws, you’ll be impacted whether you’re using an automated dialer, SMS texting, or pre-recorded calls. It is critical to abide by the law in all cases.
To stay TCPA compliant, all telemarketing activities must be backed up with prior express written consent from the consumer which must be obtained before a business can use a customer’s phone number to make outbound calls or send SMS text messages. Having a documented process in place for obtaining consent and keeping track of all opt-outs is important for avoiding any TCPA-related litigation and helps the FCC (https://www.fcc.gov/) demonstrate that your company is making reasonable efforts to ensure compliance.
If you’re looking for a way to protect yourself against compliance issues, consider acquiring compliance software that provides a variety of features designed to help you maintain compliance and may also provide a way for your team to reduce time spent on the task of managing compliance and improve productivity.
Text messaging has become a very popular and effective way of communicating with customers, but it also comes with its own set of legal requirements, with one of the most significant statutes that businesses need to be conscious of when sending text messages is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, better known as TCPA.
TCPA rules are designed to protect consumers from telemarketers who may make irritating or disruptive calls and these rules apply to both auto-dialed and prerecorded phone calls, as well as SMS messages. The rules can be difficult to understand, but they do exist and should be respected by all telemarketers.
If a business breaks these rules, it could face serious penalties like fines starting at $500 per violation and can go up to $1,500 for a willful violation. In order to avoid TCPA violations, businesses should have procedures in place that ensure compliance with these regulations which include maintaining a list of Do Not Call numbers, checking these lists regularly and honoring all opt-outs.
Another important thing that businesses need to do is obtain express written consent before sending telemarketing messages which can be done by a written agreement, a digital agreement or in other appropriate ways.