Terms of Use

TERMS OF USE WITH REGARDS TO SMS MARKETING

 There could be fine if best practices are not adhere to. Hence owners of this bulksms platform appeal to its users to read and comply with the TCPA laws to avoid any breach of law regulating the industry.

CTIA

Created by the wireless carriers.

In charge of enforcing SMS marketing practices.

Mobile Commerce Compliance Handbook

CTIA performs audits on SMS programs.

Very specific in regards to text message marketing. (Msg & Data Rates, help & stop commands, messaging frequency, links to terms & conditions, privacy policies, etc.)

 

FCC

Federal Communications Commission.

TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)

The TCPA is law…federal law.

The TCPA is all about businesses receiving permission from the consumer to text message them, and the specifics around how this permission can be gathered, ad what is allowed after the permission from the consumer is received.

 

MMA

 

Mobile Marketing Association

Releases own best practices document.

Similar to the Mobile Commerce Compliance Handbook that the CTIA puts out.

The MMA best practices are’t law, and aren’t enforced by anyone.

Creates industry confusion.

 

The History of the TCPA

1991 – New law restricts telephone solicitations from businesses to consumers wihout an “established business relationship”. Enforced and managed by the Federal Communicatios Commission (FCC).

2007 – Ninth Circuit determines law applies to usolicited text message marketing (Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster).

2012, February – FCC announces changes to TCPA (amendments), taking effect on October 16, 2013.

2013, October 16 – New TCPA changes go into effect.

“Established business relationship” requirement replaced with “prior written express consent”requirement.

“Prior written express consent”can’t be a condition of any purchase.

Both requirements need to be clearly displayed to customers before they opted –in to to a text message marketing campaign.

 

Advertising Requirements

Prior Written Express Consent

E-sign Act – Website form submission, or a text message will suffice.

Two requirements to get “Prior written express consent”from your customers.

-          Prior written express consent disclosure.

-          Disclosure must be made “clear and conspicuous” to customers.

By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic telephone dialing system.

 

Condition of Purchase Consent

 

Customers can’t be forced to consent to receive text messages from your business when they make a purchase.

Disclosure must be made “clear and conspicuous” to customers.

 

Consent to these terms is not a condition of purchase.

 

 

CTIA Requirements

Recurring Program Description (& subscribe to receive recurring SMS offers)

Stop Instructions (Text Stop to opt-out)

Cost Disclosure (Msg & data rates may apply)

T&C/Privacy Policy Link

& subscribe to receive recurring SMS offers. Text STOP to stop. Message & Data Rates May Apply. T&C/Privacy Policy

 

TCPA + CTIA Requirements

 

20% Off Your Next Purchase

Text BOBS to 12345

& Subscribe to receive recurring SMS offers.

By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic telephone dialing system. Consent to these terms is not a condition of purchase.

Message and data rates may apply

Text “STOP” to opt-out.

T & C/Privacy Policy.

 

Exceptions

 

Purely transactional messages (account alerts, travel updates, shipping notifications, etc.)

Entities regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

Political Organizations.

Customers’ wireless carriers (ie AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.)

Debt collectors.

 

Messaging Requirements

 

Opting-Out

Text messages must have an opt-out mechanism.

CTIA required opt-out mechanisms (STOP, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT).

 

Sending Time Frame

 

No sending before 8 AM in subscribers’ own time zone.

No sending after 9 PM. In subscriber’s own time zone.

 

Enforcement

 

Consumer Lawsuit

Recipients can claim damages of up to $500 for each text message.

Willfully or knowingly violate the TCPA? Court may increase damages to $1, 500 per text messages.

State initiates civil action against your company.

Complains may be filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which has the power to assess penalties against your company.

 

Record Keeping/Disputes

 

Record Keeping

It’s your business’s responsibility to bear the burden of proof for both…

-          To demonstrate that a clear and conspicuous disclosure was provided.

-          The customer unambiguously consented to receive text messages to the number he/she specifically provided.

To protect your business, it’s advised to maintain each customer’s consent for at least four (4) years, which is the federal statute of limitations to bring an action under the TCPA.

 

 

Mobile Opt-Ins

Keep copies of all advertising that promotes your SMS campaign.

Keep a record of all mobile terminated, and mobile originated messages.

 

Web Opt-Ins

Screenshots of the consent webpages as seen by the customer.

Complete data record submitted by the customer.

Keep a record of all mobile terminated and mobile originated messages.

 

 

Why Comply With TCPA Laws?

There could be fine if best practices are not adhere to. Hence owners of this bulksms platform appeal to its users to read and comply with the TCPA laws to avoid any breach of law regulating the industry.

 Happy Messaging!