Posted on 25th January 2013 by Reinhard Siedel
Is the sending of a one-time, single text that confirms a customer’s request to opt out of a business’ SMS program a spam crime? The answer is “No” thanks to a recent ruling by the FCC that has clarified for mobile marketers and consumers alike that companies may indeed send a single opt-out text message confirming a customer’s opt-out request.
Until the FFC issued its ruling, there was much concern and discussion by groups such as the CTIA, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, over whether or not opt-out confirmation texts violated the terms of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
In addition, lawsuits and legal actions had been filed against numerous businesses, including American Express, Barclays, Citibank, Nascar, NFL Enterprises, Red Box and Taco Bell, for issuing opt-out confirmation texts.
Now that the FCC ruling has affirmed the long-held position that sending opt-out confirmation messages is an acceptable best practice, one that enables consumers to know their requests have been properly recorded and executed, Clickatell has some SMS tips for clients and mobile marketers.
Tip 1: Use the FCC Ruling as a Practical Guide
The FCC’s ruling states that neither TCPA nor FCC rules prohibit companies from sending a one-time text message that confirms a request to opt-out of future SMS messages as long as:
(1) the consumer previously provided a mobile number and gave express consent to receive mobile messages from the sender,
(2) the text message merely confirms the consumer’s opt-out request and does not include any promotional copy or content that attempts to dissuade the consumer from opting out, and
(3) the opt-out confirmation text is the only additional message sent to the consumer after receipt of the opt-out request.
Tip 2: Follow SMS Best Practices
Clickatell further encourages clients and mobile marketers to continue following established SMS best practices guidelines, such as the MMA’s “U.S. Consumer Best Practices for Messaging”.
Tip 3: Let Clickatell Help You Comply
Clickatell mobile marketing tools make it easy for clients to ensure that their SMS programs meet all legal requirements and follow best practices. Clickatell’s Mobile Campaign Manager has SMS and mobile marketing guideline compliance built right into the product, with systematic safeguards against spamming, including double opt-in, help and opt-out features.
As savvy mobile customers become increasingly aware of consumer protection laws and marketing practices evolve to accommodate technology advances, it is strongly recommended that companies review their business policies and marketing practices on a regular basis, to ensure compliance with the latest standards, legal rulings and best practices guidelines. It is also advised that best in class technology services be utilized to build SMS into marketing programs and mobile apps.
For more information about Clickatell SMS messaging solutions, visit our Mobile Marketing Services web page.