The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was formed in 1934 to regulate commerce communications and to promote “safety of life and property”.
Since then, the FCC has been extended and broadened. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 was passed by Congress, and the FTC was appointed to govern the statute.
The TCPA became one of two key federal rules covering telephone communications in the United States. This law prohibits banks, debt collectors, telemarketers, and other companies from using automatic dialers to call consumers’ cell phones. The TCPA originally banned all prerecorded calls without consent.
Components of the TCPA include dialer usage, caller ID, calling times, DNC list suppression, required disclosures, policies/procedures, monitoring/enforcement, and record keeping.
How can you comply with the TCPA?
The TCPA enforces responsible telemarketing in the United States to both landline and mobile telephones. Understanding the TCPA regulations is an essential step toward compliant phone and SMS marketing. Businesses owners should adopt the right procedures and protocols to ensure all individuals in their organization remain compliant.
TCPA Compliance Checklist
- NObtain prior express written consent for marketing calls and texts to cellphones.
- NSuppress against the National Do Not Call registry.
- NAccept and honor DNC consumer requests.
- NEnsure name and number is displayed on Caller ID.
- NPlace calls/texts from the hours of 8 AM to 9 PM in residents’ local time zone.
- NEnsure the call abandonment rates don’t exceed three percent.
- NMonitor for internal and third-party compliance.
- NDo not use auto-dialers, recordings, or simulated voices to make calls without the appropriate consent.
Routine compliance training should be scheduled regularly with all relevant team members.
Clear cut company policy that details all rules and procedures for mobile marketing in accordance with the TCPA. Add to the employee handbook for ease of access.
Policy and Procedure Updates
Federal regulations change and amend over time, so staying current is a must. New TCPA requirements need to be operationalized throughout the organization with policy and procedure dissemination.
Who does the TCPA apply to?
The TCPA applies to everyone. This includes “any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States.” Exemptions are tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.
This information is not intended to serve as legal advice. Nor is it intended to act as compliance advice specific to the processes of any specific company. Application of compliance laws is a company-specific endeavor. We recommend that you contact compliance counsel to discuss the application of information found herein to your operations.