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Robocalling and Text Message Spamming Are Under Attack

Marketing Results - Texting Robocall Spam
Posted on Oct 11, 2013 in Mobile Comments

If you're communicating with your customers via automated phone calls and text messages, there's new legislation going into placenew FCC restrictions on telemarketing calls and text messages go into effect Wednesday, October 16.

The changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act make "prior express written consent" mandatory for any telemarketing that targets cell phones utilizing Automatic Telephone Dialing System. As of the 16th, verbal consent will not be enough.

Text messaging will also be covered in the TCPA as it is similar to "calling" consumers.  

Claims of an "established business relationship" will not suffice--only written consent will be acceptable. But this doesn't apply to everyone:

Cell phone carriers will still be allowed to make contact (via text messages) with customers as long as customers are not charged for this type of activity.

Health care organizations, emergency calls, charities, and political groups will also be exempt from the updates to the Act.

A few questions that have not been addressed will likely require clarification by the Commission:

  • Can the carriers send out prerecorded calls, including text messages, if the calls are sales calls about new (carrier) products that may be beneficial to the customers?
  • Does the customer need to "expressly opt out" of receiving such communications?

Also, "prior express written consent" is not needed for calls that are made manually...and are not a prerecorded message.

Fines may be allocated ranging $500 - $1,500 for each unsolicited call/text message.

An opt-out mechanism is now in effect and must be announced at the outset of the message--the mechanism must be available for the duration of the call.

The Federal Trade Commission has (and will) shut down telemarketing companies for noncompliance.

Click here to learn more: Bloomberg Law summary

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