A Quick Guide to TCPA Compliance
Telephone and text communications are a part of everyday life, so much so that it is difficult for many of us to imagine our lives without it. With so many people relying on telephone communication, it is easy to see the appeal of phone and text-based marketing practices.
At their core, telemarketing calls or telephone solicitation is innocent enough but over time, technological advancement has made it more and more invasive. In order to protect consumers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has implemented the TCPA.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is legislation designed to protect consumers from everyday annoyances, late-night phone calls and fraudulent transactions, or scams. These regulations limit the types of calls and text messages that can be sent out and limits the type of communication and tools that can be used.
In general, a phone number is something given out to friends, family, business contacts and anyone that you may want to interact with. Unfortunately, these numbers can be bought or obtained by unsavoury companies for their own reasons. In the past, telemarketing messages have been used for anything from legitimate call campaigns, to sales and scams. In an effort to curb these transactions and prevent con artists from preying on consumers, TCPA regulations have been implemented on a wide scale.
As a company, it is important to make sure that you are operating in accordance with these guidelines to avoid legal repercussions or a damaged reputation. When these regulations are violated, the called party or parties can turn to legal action in the form of a class action lawsuit.
What Is TCPA Compliance?
Whether you are operating as a single individual or as a business, anyone that conducts solicitation by use of a telephone number is subject to TCPA laws. This makes it more important than ever to understand these guidelines and institute proper data collection systems. Legislation can be long and complicated to wade through but the finer points of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act include:
Call Time Restrictions: It is frustrating to get calls during dinner but it is infuriating to be woken up by an unwanted caller. In order to protect consumers during late night or early morning hours, callers are limited to making contact between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.
Internal and National Do Not Call Lists: When receiving an unsolicited phone call, it is possible to inform the caller that you do not wish to be contacted anymore. This should place your home or cell phone number on a list deemed “do not contact”. Failing to remove these numbers from call lists can result in fines and be classified as harassment.
Proper Identification: It is necessary for callers to identify themselves by name, as well as the business that they are calling on behalf of. These identifications must be made truthfully.
Robocalls or ATDS (automatic telephone dialing systems): The TCPA restricts calls and messages that use artificial or prerecorded voice messages.
Complying With TCPA Regulations
The simplest way to comply with TCPA regulations is only contact consumers who have given prior express written consent to receive calls or messages. This can mean obtaining contact information from an event or online form.
An experienced agency can help to ensure that your business is operating within the parameters of TCPA guidelines. Choosing an agency can help to mitigate any legal issues, as well as provide peace of mind that your business is operating securely and to the letter of the law.