smrtPhone uses various providers as its underlying carrier for sending SMS/text messages. There are legal regulations and specific guidelines that the providers require users to follow to maintain an active business texting account. Violation of these standards will result in your account being suspended from sending messages.
Because the underlying carriers treat all messaging transmitted via their platform as Application-to-Person (A2P), this covers rules and /or prohibitions regarding:
Getting consent is one of the most important components of compliant business texting. It is mandated by the FCC according to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and is not just a recommendation, but a rule. Make sure you adhere to the following guidelines of consent.
Consent can't be bought, sold, or exchanged
Prior to sending the first message, you must obtain agreement from the message recipient to communicate with them. This consent applies only to you, and to the specific use or campaign that the recipient has consented to. Consent requirements are set by FCC.
Make it clear to the individual they are agreeing to receive messages, and smrtPhone encourages you to keep records of this consent.
Exceptions to Consent
Contact initiated by an individual - If an individual sends a message to you, you are free to respond in an exchange with that individual. The consent is limited only to that particular conversation.
Informational content to an individual based on a prior relationship - You may send a message to an individual with whom you have a prior relationship, provided that individual gave their phone number to you, and has taken some action to trigger the potential communication. If at any point the individual expresses they do not want to receive messages from you, the prior relationship ends.
Periodic Messages and Ongoing Consent
Depending on your state and locality, you may need to proactively ask individuals to reconfirm their consent. smrtPhone recommends you seek out the local regulations that pertain to you, and follow local laws.
Identify Yourself as the Sender
Clearly identify yourself as the sender, except in follow-up messages from a prior conversation.
Revocation of Consent (opt-out)
You must make it clear to individuals how they can opt-out of communication from you. The initial message you send needs to include some variation of the following, to allow for a clear and efficient way for them to opt-out:
“Reply STOP to unsubscribe”, "STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT" or an equivalent.
Content that is not allowed:
Anything that is illegal in the jurisdiction where the message recipient lives, like Cannabis-related information and prescription medication, and so on.
Hate speech, harassment, exploitative, abusive, or any communications that originate from a hate group
Malicious content, such as malware or viruses
Any content that is designed to intentionally evade filters
All messages should comply with the rules applicable to the country in which the message recipient lives.
Age and Geographic Gating
Sending messages in any way related to alcohol, firearms, gambling, tobacco, or other adult content, then more restrictions apply.
Besides consent from every message recipient, you must ensure that no message recipient is younger than the legal age of consent based on where the recipient is located and content complies with all applicable laws of the local jurisdiction. (Proof needed!)
Messaging Policy Violation Detection and Prevention Evasion
Content that includes intentionally misspelled words or non-standard opt-out phrases which have been specifically created with the intent to evade these mechanisms
Spreading similar or identical messages across many phone numbers with the effect of evading
Enforcement – Provider's way of handling violations
Underlying carriers will...
Will work with customers in good faith
Suspend or remove access to the platform if the customer doesn’t follow guidelines and standards