Telephone Consumer Protection Act 2013 Updates: Are you Prepared?
Effective October 16, 2013: the Federal Communications Commission’s rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The Federal Communications Commission’s TCPA rules will require “prior express written consent” before a business may:
- Send advertising or telemarketing text messages using an “automatic telephone dialing system”;
- Initiate an advertising or telemarketing phone call to a mobile phone number using an ATDS or an artificial or prerecorded voice;
- Initiate a telephone call to a residential line for commercial purposes (unless those commercial purposes do not introduce an advertisement or constitute telemarketing).
The FCC’s new rules will also eliminate the “Established business relationship” exemption no longer relieving advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement also, effective on October 16th. In most instances, only “prior express consent” is required. Prior written consent should be a clear and conspicuous disclosure requesting the consumer’s consent to be contacted.
What This Means for Companies?
Advertisers will be held responsible for all unsolicited telemarketing and autodialed calls and messages. Each unsolicited call or message will now require prior written consent from consumers that must be maintained by the advertiser for at least for four years.
Proof of internet provided consent includes but is not limited to:
- Email, website form, text message, telephone key press, or voice mail
- Website pages that contain consumer consent language and fields.
- Associated screenshot of the consent webpage as seen by the consumer where contact information is collected.
- Complete data record submitted by consumer with time and date stamp.
The TCPA enables individuals to file lawsuits against companies that place telemarketing calls or use autodialers without prior consent from the consumer. The FCC’s definition of “autodialer” is very broad leaving many advertisers unknowingly at risk. Once effective the majority of the “opt-in” language that you are currently using will not meet the new rigorous cell consent standards. Penalties range from $500 – $1,500 per unsolicited call or message. October 16th is right around the corner, IntegriShield can ensure that your company is prepared.