Regulations • Last Updated 2/19/2024

Best practices for maintaining TCPA compliance

Use our TCPA compliance checklist to make sure your business is following all TCPA regulations.

Kelsie Anderson

By Kelsie Anderson

If your organization engages in mass communication practices—such as telemarketing or SMS campaigning—you need to be aware of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

TCPA was enacted in 1991 as a response to growing consumer concerns about increasing telemarketing calls and faxes. It sets guidelines for telemarketing calls, auto-dialed calls, prerecorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes. It also restricts the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines. Additionally, it specifies several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems. The Act was ultimately designed to protect consumer privacy and prevent the annoyance and intrusion of unsolicited communications.

Staying on top of TCPA compliance is crucial if you want to uphold a good reputation with customers and avoid fines or lawsuits for TCPA violations. Keep reading to learn more about the contents of TCPA, as well as best practices to stay compliant with TCPA regulations.

Key provisions of the TCPA

TCPA covers many aspects of communication with customers and prospects. Below are several of the main provisions of TCPA that you should keep in mind to keep your business compliant.

One of the cornerstone principles of TCPA compliance is obtaining consent. Businesses must have express written consent from consumers before sending any prerecorded voice messages, text messages, or making autodialed calls to their mobile phones. This consent must be clear and conspicuous—not buried in fine print.

Do Not Call (DNC) list adherence

Another critical aspect of TCPA is adherence to the National Do Not Call Registry. Companies must refrain from calling or texting any consumer who’s registered their number on this list. Regularly scrubbing call lists against the DNC Registry is essential for compliance.

Time restrictions

The TCPA also imposes time restrictions on telemarketing calls. Calls should only be made between 8 AM and 9 PM for the local time of the called party. Respecting these time frames is crucial to avoid violations.

What happens if you don’t comply with TCPA?

Non-compliance with TCPA can lead to hefty fines and legal penalties. Each violation of the TCPA can result in statutory damages ranging from $500 to $1,500 per call, text, or message. These fines can quickly add up, making compliance a financial imperative for businesses.

Additionally, since TCPA was created to protect consumers, companies who violate its rules will likely find that consumers don’t think highly of them. Engaging in practices like calling outside of acceptable hours or spamming people with unwanted texts could result in a negative reputation for your organization that ultimately discourages business.

Best practices for TCPA compliance

To help you avoid the penalties, fines, or lawsuits associated with TCPA violations, we’ve put together a list of best practices for you to follow. Please remember that this list is just an overview of how to comply with TCPA. The best best practice is always to consult with a legal professional to ensure you’re in compliance with all TCPA regulations.

Implement clear opt-in procedures

Establishing clear procedures for obtaining consent includes documentation of consent and maintaining records of opt-in agreements. You can design websites, forms, and contracts to include clear consent language.

Clear opt-in procedures foster trust and respect between your business and its customers by ensuring communications are consensual. This practice reduces legal risks for your organization and enhances customer satisfaction by aligning with their preferences, leading to more meaningful and effective engagements.

Make regular training and policy updates

Regular training for staff involved in telemarketing and customer outreach is vital. Keeping employees informed about TCPA rules and company policies ensures better compliance. Additionally, businesses should regularly update their policies in line with any changes in TCPA regulations.

This consistent, proactive approach ensures customers receive respectful and compliant communication, enhancing their overall experience and trust in the business, thereby fostering a positive and legally sound customer-business relationship.

Use technology for compliance

Leveraging technology can greatly aid in maintaining TCPA compliance. Call-blocking technology, caller ID, and automated DNC list scrubbing tools can help reduce the risk of violations.

Technology can automate adherence to regulations, reducing human error. This efficiency protects your business from costly violations and ensures customers receive communications in a legally compliant manner that respects their preferences and privacy, ultimately enhancing the customer experience and trust in your brand.

Establish robust record-keeping practices

Maintaining detailed records of all calls, texts, and faxes—including consent records—is critical. In case of a complaint or lawsuit, these records can be vital for proving compliance. It’s currently recommended that you keep these call and text records for at least four years.

Robust record-keeping provides your business with verifiable evidence of consent and compliance, safeguarding against legal disputes. For customers, it ensures their choices are respected and documented, enhancing trust and transparency in business communications.

TCPA compliance checklist

This checklist serves as a quick reference for businesses to ensure adherence to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.

Obtain proper consent. Obtain express written consent for autodialed or prerecorded calls and messages. Ensure consent is clear, conspicuous, and documented.

Honor Do Not Call requests. Regularly scrub call lists against the National Do Not Call Registry, and immediately honor individual DNC requests.

Adhere to time restrictions. Only make telemarketing calls or send texts between 8 AM and 9 PM in the recipient's local time.

Maintain accurate records. Keep detailed records of all calls, texts, and faxes. Document proof of consent for each contact.

Provide caller identification. Ensure all calls clearly display valid caller ID information.

Implement opt-out mechanisms. Provide an easy and immediate way for consumers to opt out of future communications.

Train staff regularly. Conduct regular training sessions on TCPA compliance for all relevant employees.

Review and update policies. Regularly review and update policies to align with any changes in TCPA regulations.

Use compliant dialing technology. Ensure dialing systems and technology comply with TCPA regulations.

Monitor third-party compliance. If using third-party services, regularly monitor their compliance with TCPA.

Establish a TCPA compliance officer. Designate a responsible individual or team for overseeing TCPA compliance.

Conduct regular audits. Periodically audit your processes and records for TCPA compliance.

Stay informed on legal developments. Keep abreast of any legal developments or changes in TCPA regulations.

Prepare for consumer inquiries. Set up a system to promptly address and resolve consumer complaints related to TCPA.

Develop a response plan for violations. Have a plan in place for dealing with potential TCPA violations or inquiries.

Remember, this checklist is a summary and should be used alongside detailed knowledge and understanding of TCPA regulations. Regular consultation with legal experts is advised to ensure full compliance.

Stay compliant by choosing an experienced comms partner

Maintaining TCPA compliance is a best practice for respectful customer engagement. It’s also, of course, a legal requirement. By understanding and adhering to TCPA regulations, your business can build trust with customers and avoid the significant penalties associated with non-compliance.

Although the tools we use to communicate are constantly changing and evolving, commitment to TCPA compliance remains a constant necessity for all businesses. To ensure continued compliance, you should choose a communications partner that understands the space.

With over a decade in the telecommunications industry and Tier 1 carrier status, Telnyx is well-equipped to assist customers with TCPA compliance issues if they come up. Our award-winning support team is staffed by experts who deeply understand the intersection of technology and communications. And they’re available to assist all customers at no extra cost 24/7.

By choosing a partner with deep knowledge and expertise in the communications space, you can rest assured that you’re working with a team that understands your compliance goals.

Contact our team to learn how your organization can benefit from our 10+ years in the communications space.

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