In just the last 6 months the FCC has issued over 200 million dollars in fines and forfeitures against companies for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In spite of a general trend to ease regulations on business, the FCC still takes TCPA violations very seriously. Complaints about potential violations are the single largest group of complaints the FCC receives. To help you prevent running afoul of regulators please head the following 6 recommendations:
- Use an up-to-date service to determine whether the phone is a cell or landline, a service that takes porting of phone numbers into account. This will allow you to avoid calling a number that has been ported from a landline to a cell phone.
- For marketing purposes, scrub out Do Not Call (DNC) numbers. A good external service can perform this scrub or it can be done internally.
- Use quality data. Cheaper services use data from older sources or only check part of the phone number. Your Grandpa was right: you get what you pay for.
- Remember the TCPA rules treat sending a text the same as calling a cell phone so the same restrictions that apply to one apply to both.
- Differentiate between calls for marketing or non-marketing purposes, as well as cell and landline. The most stringent restrictions are on marketing calls to cell phones. Remember that some rules also apply to consumer landlines as well so know what and who you are calling!
- Understand the rule differences between autodialed calls, prerecorded voice and manually dialed calls.
Need to see get some details? Check out the FCC’s TCPA compliance Guide at https://www.fcc.gov/general/telemarketing-and-robocalls