Please read below to understand why MØBAUTO is in complete compliance with all TCPA laws and guidelines and what you must do to maintain compliance with all respective laws and regulations.
Q: What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)?
A: The TCPA restricts telephone solicitions (i.e. telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limites the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or pre-recorded voice message, SMS text messages, and fax machines.
Q: Are SMS text messages to cell phones considered "calls" under the TCPA?
A: Yes. The TCPA applies to both voice and short message service (SMS) text messages, if they are transmitted for marketing purposes. TCPA has been interpreted in recent years to prohibit the sending of unsolicited commercial text messages to cell phones - with limited exceptions (i.e. messages sent for emergency purposes).
Q: What is changing as a result of the most recent revised compliance guideline requirements?
A: Revised compliance guidelines will now require "express written concent" for texts made to cell phones for solicitaion purposes. "Prior written consent" is define as a signed written agreement that clearly and conspicuously discloses to the consumer that: (1) By signing the agreement, he or she autorizes the seller to deliver, to a designated phone number using an automatic dialing system, telemarketing text messages; and (2) The consumer is not required to sign the agreement or agree to enter into it as a condition of purchasing any property, goods or services.
Q: What were the TCPA compliance guidelines prior to the new rules?
A: Before the new rules, a company conducting a telemarketing campaign could rely on a "prior established business relationship" (i.e. "prior express consent") for some pre-recorded "robo-calls" for telemarketing to residential lines. That exception has been eliminated in the new rules. Companies now need explicite signed consent even from their current customers
Q: What exactly does "prior express written consent" mean?
A: "Prior express written consent" means that there must be a written agreement, signed by the person receiving the call or text, with a "clear and conspicuous disclosure" that specifically authorizes the seller to send telemarketing communications using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or pre-recorded voice. Also, the disclosure must specifically note that the person is not required to sign the agreement as a condition of purchasing any property, goods or services. The person consenting to receive telemarketing communications must also provide authorization for the specific telephone number that may be contacted. As a result of these changes, typical industry "opt-in" launguage to receive telemarketing messages will not be sufficient for TCPA compliance.
Q: Can the required written agreement be signed by a person electronically?
A: The signature on the agreement may be electronic or digital. A person may "sign" the consent by various methods, including a website form, text message, email, keypad touch or voice recording.
Q: What happens if violations of the TCPA occur?
A: Under the TCPA - a consumer may seek statutory damages ranging from $500 to $1500 for each, individual non-complying robocall or SMS message, and there is no cap on total damages.
Q Are there any exceptions to these rules?
A: For informational texts and other non-soliciation texts, the existing "prior written consent" standard will continue to suffice.
Q: What about 1X Informational Texts With No Further Response?
A: Excluded from the TCPA compliance are one-time transactions such as texting a keyword to a short code to receive a coupon or other 1X piece of information, which is delvered in a responding SMS with no further messages sent. These informational transations are in compliance with TCPA guidelines. For example, the new requirement does not apply to purely informational or transactional calls or messages, such as sending a link to a website, flight updates, surveys, bank account fraud alerts, reminders, ETC. However, an informational text that includes an upsell, such as a flight update followed by an offer inviting the consumer to upgrade to first class - would require written consent.
Q: Do TCPA guidelines apply to manually dialed calls or texts - not sent through an auto-dialer?
A: Manually dialed calls and texts do not apply. They are considered 1-1 communication. If calls or texts are originated from a system that auto-dials or auto-sends the information - those communications would need to be TCPA compliant - with express written concent from the recipient.