Lead gen compliance and call center Megathread - Telephone Consumer Protection Act and related news updates.

secretagentdad

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TLDR - A case currently being argued before the supreme court of the United States - Facebook VS Duguid could have major implications for your lead follow up and outbound sales efforts.
If you use any kind of automated phone follow up, you're potentially liable for up to 1500$ per violation. (more typically 500$)
Even if you DO NOT use a random or sequential number dialer.
This doesn't directly kill targeted lead gen, but it could massively decrease the value propositions for those of us doing targeted database building business models.

Looks like we all might be going back to email for b2b lead nurturing if this applies to text message follow ups.

TCPA is the 2nd nastiest little business destroying gotcha other than PCI compliance that I've run into.
Rulings from the supreme court are are imminent, oral arguments got made today.
I will bump this thread if anything cool comes out.

I know a lot of you guys are doing interesting stuff with call centers. Not going to share anyones war stories but I know a few guys around here have them. I would like to encourage you to share. Liability isnt usually a topic we cover much around here but probably should.

Anyone got any or speculation on the way things will play out?

This looks like it could potentially change a lot of foundational assumptions the industry has been operating on.
 
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becool

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The TCPA is extremely broad in that it potentially applies to more than just call centers and lead generation folks. If you utilize automated means to send text messages or place calls, you should be worried about the TCPA, even if the case you get roped into is seemingly meritless because (i) you’ll retain me or someone like me and expend significant sums by way of attorney fees and (ii) conceivably end up with serious trial exposure if, for instance, you’ve sent a large number of text messages.

To put it in perspective, take the number of text messages you’ve sent in any given period and multiply that number by $1,500. It adds up quickly, particularly since businesses that utilize this type of marketing/communication, tend to use it in massive quantities and can get hit for $1,500 per text message/call. For example, if you sent out 10,000 messages, that’s $15,000,000.

What makes the TCPA so problematic is the underlying definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (or ATDS) and the ways in which various Courts have interpreted the definition. The Supreme Court in Facebook v. Duguid is expected to provide clarity regarding what is an ATDS (and specifically whether an ATDS includes any device that can store and automatically dial telephone numbers even if the device does not use a random or sequential number generator).

It’s a bad law that is used and abused to the detriment of many businesses. Admittedly, receiving unwanted calls/messages is obnoxious, but I don’t agree that a business should be penalized millions or tens of millions of dollars because it sent out text messages to customers (or potential customers), especially in the age of unlimited text messages and cell phone plans.