New TCPA Laws in effect october, 2013:
changes in the robo calling industry
Those making the calls are required to:
Limit the calls to the period between 8 A.M. and 9 P.M.
Maintain a “do not call list” and honor any request to not be called again. When such a request is received, the requester may not be called again on behalf of the business for whom the solicitation is made. One error is allowed in a twelve month period. Subsequently, the soliciting companies are subject to penalties. A person’s name must be kept on the “do not call list” indefinitely.
Have a clearly written policy, available to anyone upon request.
Have a clearly defined training program for their personnel making the telephone solicitations.
If you are a service bureau, forward all requests to be removed from a list to the company on whose behalf you are calling. Its is that company that is legally liable under the TCPA, not the service bureau. The “do not call” request must also be honored by any affiliate or subsidiary of the company if there is a reasonable expectation on the part of the consumer that there request would apply also to the affiliate or subsidiary.
A call is exempt from the TCPA if the call:
Is made on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
Is not made for a commercial purpose.
Does not include an unsolicited advertisement, even if it is made for a commercial purpose.
Is made to a consumer with whom the calling company has an established business relationship. This relationship cannot be established merely by having made a prior solicitation call. The customer ends this exemption when he or her requests that no more calls be made.
The new rules you should be aware of in effect October 16th, 2013 are as follows:
(Note: SMS text messages fall under the ‘call’ category under TCPA law)
New Rule Effective, New Requirement
Prior express written consent
October 16, 2013
Unambiguous written consent required before telemarketing call or text message. Exception: calls that are manually dialed and do not contain a pre-recorded message are exempt from the TCPA.
No “established business relationship” exemption; October 16, 2013
Established business relationship no longer relieves advertisers of prior unambiguous written consent requirement.
Prior written consent can include digital forms of signature by email obtained agreements, text message, telephone, keypress or voice recording. It must be unambiguous- meaning the consumer must receive a clear disclosure that they will receive future calls (not a condition of purchase) and must specify a number which the calls go to.
Another part of the new rules is that the “established business relationship” exemption to residential landlines will be eliminated. This means a previous purchase cannot qualify as consent to telemarketing calls. Advertisers and other telemarketers must have written consent from every person on the list and must obey and apply their “no call” list.
Failing to comply with the TCPA laws can result in damages from $500-$1500 per unsolicited message. AutoCallsNow is aware of these new laws and expects their customers to follow these laws as stated.