A Detailed Guide to TCPA Compliance
This is a guest post and does not reflect the position or opinion of Jason Levoy
Are you familiar with the TCPA? The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been designed to control telemarketing communications to keep the privacy of consumers protected.
In order for a business to be compliant with the TCPA, it has to receive consent from contacts before making phone calls and sending texts. The possibility to violate the act is relatively high, as consent is not specifically defined. Therefore, hiring specialists for compliance solutions is considered necessary to avoid problems with the law.
The following TCPA guide might be of assistance.
What is TCPA?
TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) refers to a set of laws and regulations legislated in 1991. The aim of these laws is to protect the privacy of consumers and minimize abusive telecommunications. TCPA strives to eliminate intrusive, irrelevant, and repetitive telecommunication practices.
Moreover, this act extends to outbound telephone contacts, including faxes, voice messages, text messages, auto-dialed phone calls, and manual phone calls. It provides guidelines for businesses related to their communication with consumers. Read more about the provisions and updates to the telecommunications consumer protection act of 1991.
Prior to making phone calls or sending text messages, businesses need to be aware of the requirements of TCPA so as not to violate the act. Calls shouldn’t be made to any person listed in the National Do Not Call Registry. Also, individuals should not be contacted prior to 8 am or following 9 pm in corresponding time zones. Businesses aren’t supposed to use simulated voices and auto-dialers for the purpose of making calls if the recipient is in charge of paying for them.
Additionally, using an ATDS (automatic telephone dialing system) isn’t permitted for contacting emergency telephone lines, such as the lines of hospitals, health care facilities, medical physicians, law enforcement agencies, fire protection agencies, poison control centers, elderly homes, etc. Artificial voice calls and recordings shouldn’t be delivered without written consent.
Types of consent
In order for businesses and organizations to send text messages and call consumers, they need consent. The failure to get the right type of consent results in having trouble with the law. The type of permission varies in accordance with the type and nature of the conversation, which can be conversational, informational, or promotional. There are three types of consent, implied, express, and express written.
The informal permission to text a contact is known as implied consent. For instance, if a consumer texts you first, you are permitted to contact him/her back as long as the message you send is relevant to his/her question. Instead of just relying on a TCPA compliance guide, businesses are encouraged to hire a team of specialists to create a compliance solution. Implied consent also refers to the emails sent by contacts, which include the phone number of the person sending the email. It automatically means getting permission to call them.
Express consent, on the other hand, isn’t specifically defined by the TCPA. It’s described as an oral or written agreement that gives permission for receiving calls and texts at a given telephone number. When your business is provided with phone numbers by contacts, you are permitted to send them a message. Nevertheless, the message content should be relevant to the reason why contacts provided you with their numbers in the first place.
For instance, consumers often give their numbers to businesses when they expect an appointment confirmation or need to receive information regarding their account. By establishing a business relationship with a particular contact, you have most likely acquired express consent.
Express written consent is either a recorded or written permission, which a contact provides to your business electronically or on paper. Such permission is required whenever you wish to contact consumers to promote a product or service. Every time the aim of the message is to market your goods or services, you must have express written consent.
In spite of its name, express written consent doesn’t necessarily mean the permission should be written by hand. This type of permission can be given in the form of a digital agreement, such as web forms. The following URL, https://smallbusiness.chron.com/digital-service-agreement-74474.html, provides better insight into digital agreements.
TCPA makes an exception in the case of prior established business relationships within the previous three months. Also, such a relationship can be established if the consumer has purchased some of your products in the past eighteen months. Prior established business relationships provide consumers with express consent to get in touch with them.
Furthermore, non-commercial communications, such as tax-exempt nonprofits, are considered a TCPA exception. As long as you are not trying to promote your products and services, you are permitted to communicate with the contacts.
Adhering to the TCPA is essential for businesses to avoid legal problems.
A compliance solution is a must!
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