SMS Marketing Industry News

FCC Changes TCPA Requirements for SMS Autoresponders


Have you thanked the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) lately? If not, and you’re using an SMS autoresponder, it may be a nice gesture to send them a thank you tweet @RILAtweets. Why is it a good idea to thank the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) if you’re using an SMS autoresponder?

On December 30, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a petition for a declaratory ruling filed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). In the petition, the RILA requests that the FCC clarify that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not require “prior express written consent” to one-time text messages that respond to consumer-initiated requests. Or as we in the mobile marketing industry like to call them, SMS autoresponders.

In the petition, the RILA stated that the FCC could not have intended for the TCPA consent rules to apply to consumer-initiated, one-time text messages, for three reasons:

  1. These text messages are not initiated by a telemarketer, but by the consumer.
  2. These text messages are one-time only messages, sent immediately to a consumer in response to a request from the consumer.
  3. The content of the one-time text message is limited only to the specific information requested by the consumer.

Furthermore, the RILA stated that an FCC ruling in their favor “will also allow retailers and other companies that send on demand text messages in response to specific consumer requests for isolated offers to continue this widespread, consumer-friendly practice without fear of expensive, frivolous litigation.”

On July 10, 2015, the FCC made a declaratory ruling, stating that no longer is TCPA consent disclosures (prior express written consent and that consent is not a condition of purchase) required as long as an SMS autoresponder meets the following criteria:

  1. The text message is requested by the consumer.
  2. The text message is a one-time only message sent immediately in response to a specific consumer request.
  3. The text message contains only the information requested by the consumer with no other marketing or advertising information.

Based on the FCC’s new ruling, Tatango has update our five SMS autoresponder compliance templates, which you can download here for free, or by clicking on the image below.

Looking for some inspiration as to how your business can use SMS autoresponders? Check out some great SMS autoresponder examples:


SMS Autoresponder - TCPA Compliance Template

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