What is the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, also known as the TCPA, was passed by Congress in 1991 as an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934. Congress created the TCPA to protect consumers from unsolicited telemarketing calls.
Under the TCPA, telemarketers are restricted from calling consumers before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. It also limits the use of artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, fax machines and automatic dialing systems.
According to the FCC, automatic telephone dialing systems is a system that has the capacity to (a) store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (b) to dial such numbers. These restrictions mainly limit the use of prerecorded voice messages and prohibits calls to mobile phones without consent.
TCPA Restrictions Today
At the time the TCPA was passed in 1991, 90% of United States households relied on landline phones, and only 3% of Americans had cell phones.
As of October 16, 2013, the prior business relationship exemption of the TCPA has been eliminated, and prior written consent is mandatory for all auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls and texts sent to a mobile phone. Pre-recorded calls made to any landline for telemarketing or advertisements without prior permission are prohibited.
TCPA requires companies using an automated or prerecorded voice messages to identify they are responsible for making the call, at the beginning of the message. The company must also provide the telephone number where they can be reached. This telephone number cannot be a number that will exceed local or long-distance charges. And finally, the company has to give the consumer a way to opt-out of the call to make a do-not-call request.
Many businesses have found themselves on the wrong side of the law because of these requirements. Call Gryphon today to make sure your company is compliant!
If you are interested in learning more about TCPA compliance, check out our new infographic Understanding TCPA Compliance.