At Textmaxx Pro we take pride in offering a compliant text message marketing solution for our clients. In today’s economy if you’re going to do business, you must consider compliance and the possible risk of doing business in a non-compliant manner. We have seen a number of companies fall into unpleasant lawsuits due to the non-complaint use of texting. Not only is this expensive, but it is also damaging to your company’s brand.
After witnessing this first hand, our own clients getting in trouble with non-compliant texting, the search for a compliant solution started. Our CEO stated “there must be some way to do this in a safe, compliant manner.” So we created Textmaxx Pro. We have worked endless nights with attorneys to not only create a compliance based texting solution but also to educate businesses on these issues. Below is a brief overview of the regulations surrounding text messaging. If you would like additional information please request our Compliance Whitepaper HERE
It is important to understand the landscape of regulators that have limitations and restrictions around how to accomplish SMS text messaging with a consumer. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a federal agency that promulgates rules under the TCPA. In the past few years, the FCC has considered system-launched calls, including text messages, robocalls and auto dialed live agent calls. Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) administers the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which overlaps in some areas with the TCPA but is a distinct rule.
There is also regulation surrounding consent and how a consumer opts-into a text message conversation with a merchant. Federal law around consent requirements and industry best practices vary depending on the type of text message being sent.
If you plan to send marketing text messages, “prior express written (electronic) consent” is required. If you will only send account management texts (i.e. text messages that indicate an upcoming service date, payment due date or a missed payment), then you only need “prior express consent.”
It is also important to properly structure text messages to include business-specific HELP/STOP automated responses allowing the consumer to get help if needed or turn off your text message service if desired. According to the FCC’s July 2015 TCPA guidance, consumers may revoke consent by any reasonable means. Businesses are not allowed to limit the means by which consumers revoke consent. It is fine to steer consumers toward particular methods for revoking consent—and the more options you present the better—but businesses must honor all reasonable consent revocations no matter how they are submitted. The FCC takes an expansive view of what is reasonable, including a request made to a sales or service rep at a brick-and-mortar location.
If you would like additional information about the regulations and governing bodies surrounding communication with consumers via text messaging, please call us at (941) 257-0196 or toll-free at (866) 367-6889. We have also compiled the Leedom Group Compliance Whitepaper that provides thought leadership on using text messaging as a means of communicating with a customer. You can request this white paper HERE