What is TCPA?

The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) is a federal law in the United States that regulates telemarketing calls and text messages. It was enacted in 1991 in order to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and texts. The TCPA requires businesses to obtain prior express consent from consumers before making telemarketing calls or sending text messages to their mobile phones. 

This consent must be written and cannot be buried in a pages-long form. It must be clear and obvious, so the recipient knows what they’re signing up for. Failure to adhere to this guideline is one of the many possible TCPA violations. You’re also not allowed to require a consumer to opt-in to a text program as a condition to purchase property, goods, or services. However you decide to get consent, it should have a clear call-to-action associated with your opt-in method.

Here are some possible ways to obtain consent while complying with the TCPA:

  1. Opt-in: Businesses can have customers opt-in to receive text messages by providing a checkbox or field on a website or mobile app where customers can enter their phone number and indicate their consent.
  2. Verbal consent: Businesses can obtain verbal consent during a phone call or in-person conversation, but they must follow up with a confirming text or email that includes information on how to opt-out.
  3. Written consent: Businesses can obtain written consent by having customers sign a physical or electronic document that indicates their consent to receive text messages.
  4. Keyword opt-in: Businesses can ask customers to text a specific keyword to a short code to opt-in to receive text messages.

In addition, companies must text customers or prospects during approved hours as stated by TCPA law guidelines. Under TCPA, companies are allowed to text consumers only between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM in the respective time zone of the recipient. Sonar’s Intelligent Timezone Compliance feature provides an added safety measure to avoid sending texts to customers during unapproved hours.  

Finally, companies should keep records of the consent obtained for future reference, and provide an easy opt-out mechanism for customers to unsubscribe from future messages. Violations of the TCPA can result in significant fines and legal action, so it is important to understand the law when communicating with customers via text message. To learn more about TCPA and gather information about texting specific to your business, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to chat with you. 

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