Are you TCPA compliant? Can you prove it?
If you call or text consumers on their mobile phones, TCPA regulations apply to you. Verify and document proof of consent with TrustedForm. TrustedForm offers the highest standard of independent proof of consent available.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires that marketers have “prior express written consent” from consumers before using an automated dialing system to call or text their mobile phones. While these laws were originally created to target unsolicited telemarketing calls and robo-calls, they have expanded in scope and now basically apply to any company contacting a consumer on their mobile phone. TCPA regulations have been around since 1991, however the FCC made a significant update to the rules in October 2013 with the requirement of “written” consent. More recently, in July of 2015, the FCC issued a TCPA declaratory ruling where, among other things, they addressed the question of the definition of an autodialer. Unfortunately, their definition is so broad that most phone systems could be considered an autodialer.
If you aren’t worried, you should be.
A consumer can sue you for up to $1500 per call for TCPA violations. That’s right, $1500 per call! The fines can add up in a hurry. As an example, in July of 2015 Time Warner was ordered to pay $229,500 for placing 153 calls to a woman’s cell phone.
As you might imagine with these types of payouts, litigation is on the rise. Class action lawyers have taken notice, and the results are huge settlements across all types of industries. Capital One settled their class action suit for $75 million. Bank of America’s cost them $32 million.
To make matters worse, consumers can file a suit for perceived violations up to four years after the date of contact.
Obtaining consent is key to compliance.
While the penalties for non-compliance are scary, compliance doesn’t have to be painful or expensive. The key is making sure you obtain prior express written consent from the consumers you are planning to contact. If you have prior express written consent, you don’t have to worry about the type of phone system you are using and whether it falls under the definition of an autodialer (it probably does). If you are capturing Internet leads via web forms, you must add the proper disclosure language to that form in a clear and conspicuous manner. If you don’t have the proper consent, you must make sure the phone system you use to contact the consumer on their mobile phone doesn’t fall under the FCC definition of an auto-dialer.
Proving consent is the challenge.
In the event of a consumer complaint, the marketer has the burden of proof of compliance. Even if you think you obtained the proper consent from the consumers you contact, you must be able to prove it. Proving that the proper disclosure language was presented to a consumer is a challenge. The best proof is provided by an independent 3rd party and can be easily shared with the complaining party before things escalate.
Verify and document proof of consent with TrustedForm.
TrustedForm provides the highest standard of independent proof of consent. TrustedForm issues a unique digital Certificate for every person that submits a form on your website or those of your partners.
Each TrustedForm Certificate includes:
- Date and time stamp of the site visit.
- The URL of site they visited.
- The IP address and browser.
- A VideoReplay that shows how the consumer interacted with the web page, including form entries, mouse movements, and clicks.
You have full access to all of your Certificates and can review and share them at any time.