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Why Should Employees Be Aware of TCPA Laws?

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This video is brought to you by Innovista Law, home to the TCPA Defense Force. Innovista's lawyers have helped companies navigate potential TCPA landmines through effective risk-mitigation and compliance strategies.

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Why should employees be aware of TCPA laws? It’s a simple question, but one with a very important answer: not doing so can cost you a great deal of money.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the law governing text messaging marketing, is very strict with consent guidelines for different kinds of text messages.

A 2015 FCC ruling stated that a consumer who has opted-in to text message marketing must be able to opt-out in any reasonable manner. For Tatango, if a consumer responds “stop” or “unsubscribe” to our messaging campaigns, they are automatically removed from the list and unsubscribed.

However, it gets tricky if a consumer verbally tells a brand they want to unsubscribe, or responds with a term other than “stop” or “unsubscribe”, and that’s where employees understanding the TCPA can help safeguard your company. (That’s also why we created a natural language feature to help brands in these situations.)

 

How to Increase TCPA Compliance

The FCC states that a consumer must be able to opt out-out in “any reasonable manner.” It’s not quite enough for a consumer to be able to opt-out via text, as they need to be reasonably able to opt out via other means. That begs the question:

What defines “reasonable”?

Unfortunately, this definition often falls under court-by-court interpretation. It’s an area that will continue evolving over time, but at the end of the day it means that:

Consumers should have many viable ways to unsubscribe from texting campaigns.

This is the reason why employees need to know about the TCPA. That’s not to say a full-blown training program is necessary, but it’s important for the situations where a consumer is checking out and says, “Hey, can you remove me from your text messaging list?” If the frontline employee doesn’t understand what this is, or what happens when this consent is violated, then that can cause problems.

If a company violates TCPA guidelines because their employee didn’t understand how important it was, and the consumer’s request wasn’t satisfied, then the company is still liable. It also leaves the company with an angry customer, which nobody wants.

 

Helping Employees Understand the TCPA

It’s relatively easy to brief your frontline employees on the TCPA—at least the parts that they need to know. TCPA compliance is complicated and messy (which is why we put this kind of content together!) but employees should be taught the basics.

Employees need to know that opt-out requests must be legally honored, and that’s the most important part. Your marketing and compliance teams should understand TCPA compliance as it relates to your text message marketing campaigns.

Even if your company encounters the same situation as described above, being able to prove that you have trained your employees and provided them the relevant information gives you a layer of protection against the “willful violation” penalties of the TCPA. Just showing that you have made a genuine effort to train your staff can pay off, so it’s worth considering.

We hope this breakdown was helpful to you! If you’re interested in learning more about text message marketing and the TCPA, check out our free TCPA Text Messaging Survival Guide or reach out to our text message marketing experts about how to protect your text message marketing campaigns.

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