Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 is meant to protect consumers from unsolicited, repetitive, recorded, and irrelevant calls and messages. Although the consumers needed TCPA regulation, but it has let contact centers and other businesses find it quite challenging to convey important messages to their consumers without breaking the TCPA. To help businesses in this matter, the following checklist will be of great use for ensuring TCPA compliance:
- – Ensure that customers are only contacted between 8 AM to 9 PM hours as per the time zone of customers.
- – During a call, an agent must state his/her name, company name, and company address or contact information where the customer can reach out.
- – Only contact customers who have opt-in for such calls and messages. For that, get prior express written consent (PEWC) from the customers before making any kind of marketing text or call.
- – Phone numbers should always be scrubbed against the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. No one listed in the National DNC Registry should be called.
- – Do not buy phone lists from third-parties.
- – Ensure all employees are well-educated about their compliance responsibilities before making any contact with the customers. Along with that, training sessions must be conducted regularly.
- – In case of a prerecorded message, give the automated “opt-out” feature.
- – Honor all Do Not Contact requests and keep a dedicated centralized DNC list of those requests, along with the date requests were made. The DNC list should be honored for 5 years.
- – Disconnect a call if no one answers it within 4 rings or 15 seconds (whatever comes first).
- – Automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) calls to a residential phone number must not be made before getting prior consent.
- – Without prior express written consent (PEWC), do not send pre-recorded messages on smartphones or cells.
- – Keep a close eye on any updates in regulation.
- – Do not send alcohol-related messages to non-age-verified numbers.
- – Make sure that recordings, artificial voices, or auto-dialers are not used for calling mobile phones or other contact numbers where the receiver is paying for the call.
- – Automatic dialing system should not be used to call healthcare facilities and emergency phone lines.
Compliance with TCPA is quite challenging for many businesses, as the regulation is quite complex to follow. With the growing TCPA litigators and lawsuits, it is best for businesses to remain updated with regular guidance related to telemarketing calls and always contact legal counsel whenever there is a doubt to clarify.