What Qualifies as Consent for Automated Calls and SMS Messages?

What Qualifies As Consent for Telemarketing and Texting
To help companies who are in the business of finding people, we’ve put together a first of its kind ebook that illuminates how rules and regulations regarding telemarketing apply to their business. In other words, if you thought that because you’re not a telemarketer, telemarketing rules and regulations don’t apply, you’re wrong.

BellesLink has put together an ebook of eighteen common questions and answers regarding best practices use of SMS messaging and automated calling. The ebook covers how telemarketing rules and regulations apply to non-telemarketers.

In this post we’re sharing one question from our ebook, TCPA Compliance for Automobile Finance. What qualifies as consent, is one of the most common questions about compliance.

Throughout this post you’ll see the word telemarketing. Don’t let one word distract you. Instead, embrace that even though you’re not a telemarketer, telemarketing rules and regulations apply.

Our View of Compliance

Many of our customers use BellesLink’s phone, text and batch calling features. Potentially these businesses fall under the regulatory oversight of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, the TCPA.

We strive to be the industry leader in complying with the TCPA, CAN-SPAM, the Fair Debt Collections Act, and all federal and state laws regarding telemarketing (that word again) and collections calls and text messages. Our answers represent the requirements of the law as we have interrupted it.

Though one document cannot provide the answers to every question regarding these regulations and that for specific situations, the requirements of our customers to comply with the law may be more stringent than ours (for instance the state where your business is based may have more stringent laws than we require you to follow).

If you have a question as to whether you are in compliance with the law, always confirm that you that you are doing everything correctly with your attorney.





Download Running a TCPA Compliant Business




What qualifies as “consent” to either a residential or wireless number with artificial or prerecorded message?

For residential landline numbers, consent may be oral or in writing for all pre-recorded telemarketing calls. The following methods are accepted by our company to show consent for such calls.

Consent in Writing

If consent is in writing, callers must have a signed written document where consent is clearly given to call a residential landline using a pre-recorded call, language should be similar to the following; however, please consult your attorney regarding your specific situation:

By providing my phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may use artificial and/or pre-recorded calls to this number for telemarketing purposes.acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive calls from COMPANY that are artificial and/or prerecorded containing marketing messages.

  • The consent must be clearly stated in the agreement and should include a space next to the consent section for the signer to acknowledge

Spoken Consent

If consent is oral, callers must have a recording clearly showing consent is given where a the recipient either states “I, NAME, consent to artificial and/or pre-recorded calls” or the caller clearly states that the caller is seeking consent to make pre-recorded calls to the person and the person clearly affirms that they agree to receive such calls. Callers must comply with all state regulations regarding the recording of conversations.

Consent Through a Website

If consent is through a website, an electronically signed document must be on file where consent is clearly given to call a number using artificial and/or pre-recorded calls. Language should be similar to the following:

By providing my phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may call my phone number for any purpose, including marketing purposes, using all methods now known and discovered in the future, including, but not limited to, auto-dialers, pre-recordings, and general telemarketing practices. I agree that these calls may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that COMPANY may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive calls from COMPANY at my number.”

  • The user should be required to click a button specifically acknowledging this paragraph regarding consent if the user is signing a longer terms of use agreement.
  • The IP address of the user’s computer should be captured at the time of signing.
  • The signature of the user should be captured using a method allowed under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

What Qualifies As Consent for Telemarketing and Texting

Consent For Calls to Wireless Numbers

For wireless numbers, consent must be in writing if a caller is using an auto-dialer or artificial and/or pre-recorded message. The following methods are available to receive consent for these calls to wireless numbers:

A signed written document where consent is clearly given to call a wireless number for telemarketing purposes. Language should be similar to the following:

By providing my wireless phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may call my wireless phone number for any purpose, including marketing purposes, using all methods now known and discovered in the future, including, but not limited to, auto-dialers, artificial messages, pre-recorded messages, and general telemarketing practices. I agree that these calls may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that COMPANY may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive calls from COMPANY at my wireless number.”

For loan applications, clearly state that if the applicant receives a loan and has provided a wireless number on the loan application, that the applicant consents to calls at that number.

A electronically signed document where consent is clearly given to call a wireless number for telemarketing purposes. Language should be similar to the following:

By providing my wireless phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may call my wireless phone number for any purpose, including marketing purposes, using all methods now known and discovered in the future, including, but not limited to, auto-dialers, pre-recordings, and general telemarketing practices. I agree that these calls may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that COMPANY may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive calls from COMPANY at my wireless number.”

  • The user should be required to click a button specifically acknowledging this paragraph regarding consent if the user is signing a longer terms of use agreement.
  • The IP address of the user’s computer should be captured at the time of signing.
  • The signature of the user should be captured using a method allowed under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Consent For Texts to Wireless Numbers

For texts to wireless numbers, consent must be in writing. The following methods are available to receive consent for these calls to wireless numbers.

A signed written document where consent is clearly given to text a wireless number for marketing purposes. Language should be similar to the following:

“By providing my wireless phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may send text messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose, including marketing purposes. I agree that these calls may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that COMPANY may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive text messages from COMPANY at my wireless number.”

A electronically signed document where consent is clearly given to text message a wireless number for marketing purposes. Language should be similar to the following:

By providing my wireless phone number to COMPANY, I agree and acknowledge that COMPANY may send text messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose, including marketing purposes. I agree that these text messages may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that COMPANY may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive text messages from COMPANY at my wireless number.”

  • The user should be required to click a button specifically acknowledging this paragraph regarding consent if the user is signing a longer terms of use agreement.
  • The IP address of the user’s computer should be captured at the time of signing.
  • The signature of the user should be captured using a method allowed under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

More Common Questions Answered

Though one article can’t cover the issue of TCPA compliance, we hope this helps clarify the rules for obtaining consent.

For answers to other common TCPA compliance questions, download our free ebook, TCPA Compliance for Automobile Finance.

 


Consult Your Attorney

This is not legal advice. Your company may, or may not, be governed by consumer finance and tele-communication regulations such as the TCPA, the TSR, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Consult an attorney to determine which federal, state, and laws and regulations apply to your business operations.