As of October 16, 2013 the FCC and TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) have revised the rules in place regarding unwanted autodialed and/or robocalls.
We met with the FCC and are under the impression that the majority of DialMyCalls members do not need to worry much when it comes to the new TCPA regulations as they have been and will remain in compliance. Members such as churches, non-profits, sports leagues and other organizations that utilize our voice and text message broadcasting service to send out "informational calls" need not worry – the new changes directly target telemarketers and sales calls.
You should still make sure that you have expressed permission when calling members of your school or organization and always have an opt-out procedure in place. This way people who no longer wish to receive your messages can be removed from your contact lists and added into your DialMyCalls "Do-Not-Contact" list.
DialMyCalls has always taken a firm stance on not allowing any kind of unsolicited or sales messages to be sent from our system. We will continue to notify and terminate any accounts found attempting to send any type of sales messages from our system.
Customers sending political calls should be aware that you are no longer allowed to send any kind of political calls to cellphones without expressed consent. You should make sure you use a carrier lookup service to remove any cellphone numbers from your voter lists before sending messages.
Changes to the TCPA regulations directly affect members using voice and SMS text messages for marketing purposes. What does this all mean to you and your DialMyCalls marketing account? To put it simply, as long as you read and comply with the new rules then you are free to continue using DialMyCalls. What exactly are the new TCPA rules and how do they affect "sales calls"?
New TCPA Rules (Effective October 16, 2013):
Rule #1 – Prior Written Consent: Unambiguous written consent required before telemarketing call or text message.
Compliance with the E-SIGN Act satisfies this requirement, meaning that electronic or digital forms of signature are acceptable (i.e., agreements obtained via email, website form, text message, telephone keypress or voice recording).
Consumer consent must be unambiguous, meaning that the consumer must receive a "clear and conspicuous disclosure" that he/she will receive future calls that deliver autodialed and/or pre-recorded telemarketing messages on behalf of a specific advertiser; that his/her consent is not a condition of purchase; and he/she must designate a phone number at which to be reached (which should not be pre-populated by the advertiser in an online form).
Rule #2 – No "established business relationship" exemption: Established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement. Advertisers will have to obtain written consumer consent, outlined above, even if they previously had a business relationship with the consumer.
The TCPA is able to fine violators between $500-$1500 for each unsolicited call or message. In determining the final amount of statutory damages to award, courts analyze whether the defendant "willfully" or "knowingly" violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
DialMyCalls must express that the information provided in this blog is entirely for informational purposes and in no way should be utilized as legal advice. To ascertain whether or not your marketing calls or text messages are in compliance with the new and existing TCPA rules, it is recommended that you seek advice from an attorney who specializes in telemarketing and FCC laws.
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