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What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)?

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Mobile advertising is a cost proficient way to market your products or services. In contrast to other advertising stages, for example, TV or radio advertisements, mobile advertising sends marketing content directly to the individual via SMS message. Since mobile ads cost a small amount to create compared to another kind of promoting advertisements would cost, more clients can be reached by going through less cash. This is particularly useful if you are working with a very limited marketing budget. Before you consider mobile advertising, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1991 and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush as Public Law 102-243. It amended the Communications Act of 1934. The TCPA is codified as 47 U.S.C. § 227. The TCPA restricts telephone solicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. It also specifies several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems—principally with provisions requiring identification and contact information of the entity using the device to be contained in the message. For more information on the TCPA click here.

Unless the recipient has given prior express consent, the TCPA and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules under the TCPA generally:

  • Prohibits solicitors from calling residences before 8 a.m. or after 9 pm, local time.
  • Requires solicitors maintain a company-specific "do-not-call" (DNC) list of consumers who asked not to be called; the DNC request must be honored for 5 years.
  • Requires solicitors to honor the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Requires solicitors provide their name, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or entity may be contacted.
  • Prohibits solicitations from residences that use an artificial voice or a recording.
  • Prohibits any call made using automated telephone equipment or an artificial or prerecorded voice to an emergency line (e.g., "911"), a hospital emergency number, a physician's office, a hospital/health care facility/elderly room, a cellular telephone, or any service for which the recipient is charged for the call.
  • Prohibits autodialed calls that engage two or more lines of a multi-line business.
  • Prohibits unsolicited advertising faxes.
  • In the event of a violation of the TCPA, a subscriber may (1) sue for up to $500 for each violation or recover the actual monetary loss, whichever is greater, (2) seek an injunction, or (3) both.
  • In the event of a willful violation of the TCPA, a subscriber may sue for up to three times the damages, i.e. $1,500, for each violation.
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