On June 25, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) ruled that “peer-to-peer” texting systems are not automatic telephone dialing systems (“ATDS”) as that term is defined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).
The ruling can be found here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-670A1.pdf.
The FCC ruled that:
…we clarify that the fact that a calling platform or other equipment is used to make calls or send texts to a large volume of telephone numbers is not probative of whether that equipment constitutes an autodialer under the TCPA. Instead, we make clear that if a calling platform is not capable of originating a call or sending a text without a person actively and affirmatively manually dialing each one, that platform is not an autodialer and calls or texts made using it are not subject to the TCPA’s restrictions on calls and texts to wireless phones…
If a human must initiate each text, then the system is not an ATDS. This is a very important ruling for similar “click to call” telephone dialing systems which should enjoy the same protection.
One thing missing from the ruling is how much is required for “manually dialing” to apply- i.e. one click or the full 10 digits? Luckily, the FCC ruled on this one long ago holding that “speed dialing” does not make a system an ATDS. So a single click is sufficient “manually dialing” for this question.
If you have previously reviewed your system on this question, the new FCC order will be an important addition to your review, and it might be even more important if you are defending a TCPA lawsuit. The FCC also took the opportunity to reiterate that persons who knowingly release their number to an entity have provided “prior express consent” to be called with an ATDS at that number for non-commercial purposes. Commercial calls require “prior express written signed consent” if the caller is using an ATDS or prerecorded voice.
What does this mean for you?
DirectMail.io has the most sophisticated and scaleable TCPA compliant text messaging platform in the United States. SMS marketing has a 75% acceptance rate* among customers and a 98% open rate*. No other marketing channel even comes close.
What SMS features does DirectMail.io offer?
- Outbound SMS
- Outbound MMS
- Inbound SMS / Direct Mail Integration
- Inbound SMS / Facebook Integration
- SMS Conditional Surveys
- Short Code SMS
- 100% TCPA Compliance
Learn more about our SMS platform and how your agency can partner with us to offer it to your clients at www.directmail.io/sms.
*Source: "35 Must-Know SMS Marketing Statistics in 2020" | techjury.net