by Michael Foster
If you haven’t heard of TCPA, don’t worry; you’re not alone. But if you don’t learn about TCPA soon, you should worry; you could be facing major fines — even millions of dollars worth of fines.
Let’s back up.
The “Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991” was signed into law by President George Bush (the first one) at a time when telemarketing was on the cusp of automation. Robodialling, modern PBX systems and voice messaging had suddenly made telemarketing a lot cheaper, causing the kind of growth in telesales that you’d expect.
The provisions of the law are extensive, but the most important set time restrictions (no calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.), the requirement to maintain a “do-not-call” list (must be kept current for 5 years) and the need to adhere to the national DNC registry. Other provisions and restrictions surround robocalling, but these are the most important and the easiest to implement.
That doesn’t mean all marketers are paying attention.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the TCPA was flagrantly disregarded by far too many bad actors. Few consumers were aware of the TCPA and many who were aware couldn’t be bothered to combat telemarketers, as long as they weren’t too aggressive.
More recently, reporting TCPA violators is a lot easier, and awareness of the law has grown. As a result, marketers who ignore the rules have a much greater chance of getting fined — or worse.
To further complicate matters, interpretations of the law are often vague, and a lot of gray areas remain for many of the marketers who want to comply with the letter of the law but aren’t entirely sure what the letter of the law really means. As with any contentious transaction, understanding the legal definitions of “consent” and the time frames with which consent applies is difficult to grasp.
For marketers who are scaling their telemarketing efforts, understanding the subtleties of the TCPA and its various interpretations is essential. The bigger your firm, the likelier you’ll get hit with a complaint — and the bigger the target you are for regulators. The risks grow every single day, and the costs can compound quickly.
You can avoid the pitfalls of a TCPA violation by knowing what the law is, who it covers and how you can comply with the rules.
This year’s LeadsCon offers a special session on the TCPA. At the Seller’s Summit, the “TCPA Industry Alert” session is a quick, 45-minute rundown of just about everything you need to know about the law, including real-life case studies of how the law has been practiced and the legal precedent for present-day enforcement.
If you want to avoid potentially massive fines and legal wrangling with regulators, this session is a must-attend.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2018.