FCC 2013 Telemarketing Rules

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FCC 2013 Telemarketing Rules

Mobile Solution

Dear Customer,

Communications within the automobile industry will change significantly this Wednesday, October 16th. The FCC has issued stricter guidelines and new rules in how we can communicate with our customers. Please find the attached brief outlining the rule changes and specifically how they affect automobile dealerships. All Advantage Tec texting and mobile solutions are FCC compliant and ADP Certified. We have specific language you can use with service and sales customers assuring you can text and autodial your customers.

New FCC rules that govern autodialing and text messaging are being put in place October 16th, 2013, to protect the consumer from unwanted solicitations to their cell phones and landlines. New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations require prior express consent before making any type of call or sending text messages using auto-dialers or pre-recorded devices to cell phones and pagers. Regulations also require express written consent for commercial advertisement and telemarketing calls to residential phone lines when using auto-dialers or prerecorded voice devices.

New way of communication

The new rule affects the way automobile dealerships (and other for- profit businesses) can communicate with their customers. Prior to October 16th, 2013, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) required express written consent before telemarketing or autodialing cell phones absent an established business relationship with the person. In automobile dealerships the established business relationship rule was covered, most of the time, through prior service and sales interactions.

The new TCPA rule no longer allows the “established business relationship” clause to circumvent written authorization. This means automobile dealerships must attain “prior express written consent” before telemarketing, advertising, or texting from an auto-dialer or prerecorded device. To reiterate, “prior express written consent” is now required for any auto-dialer commercial advertisement, telemarketing call using a prerecorded voice or text message even if there is an established business relationship.

The new FCC rules

As always, there are ways to correctly comply with the new rules. They are:

  • The written consent must be clear and conspicuous
  • The rule requires identifying the phone number(s)
  • It requires that consent is not a condition of purchase
  • Consent encompasses future autodialed or pre-recorded telemarketing messages

To comply, written consent can be attained with a written signature or electronically through email, website forms, telephone keypad functions or a text message. You may not, however, send a text message or autodial requesting a person to opt-in.

Advantage Tec, Inc. has the necessary language, processes and tools in place for automobile dealerships and car manufacturers to comply with the new FCC regulations.

Thomas Jung is the CEO and co-founder of AdvantageTec. He has also served executive management roles as Divisional President at Cars.com, CMO at vAuto and co-founder of Marketdrive Interactive. He started his career as an automotive technician at Dr. Ing. HcF Porsche AG is Stuttgart Germany.