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How to Keep Your Text Messages Compliant
How to Keep Your Text Messages Compliant

Follow these texting/SMS regulations and guidelines to ensure delivery and maintain active texting status.

Georgiana Mirita avatar
Written by Georgiana Mirita
Updated over a week ago

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:

  1. πŸ‘ Consent

  2. πŸ‘Ž Revocation of Consent (Opt-Out)

  3. πŸ“¨ Message Usage (Content Standards)

  4. πŸ§‘β€βš–οΈ Enforcement

To send business text messages through smrtPhone, you must register for A2P 10DLC via our Trust Center. We strongly encourage you to start this process ASAP.

All carriers have strong guidelines regarding the types of messages that you may send from their platforms. You can find in this article a list of words and phrases that are strongly monitored by carriers and can attract spam triggers, suspending or closing your account and also high fines if you violate any of the guidelines.

Consent (β€œopt-in”)

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

  • Consent Requirements

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 that 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:

β€œReply STOP to unsubscribe”, "STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT" or an equivalent.

Messaging Usage

  • 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 communication that originates from a hate group

    • Fraudulent messages

    • Malicious content, such as malware or viruses

    • Any content that is designed to intentionally evade filters

Keep in mind federal and state legislation apply in the U.S. and you should periodically check the ones applying in your region.

  • Country-Specific Rules

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 that 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...

  1. Will work with customers in good faith

  2. Suspend or remove access to the platform if the customer doesn’t follow guidelines and standards

Fines for TCPA violations range from $500 to $2000 for each individual violation. These fees are passed directly to our clients. Any other fines that smrtPhone incurs because of activity on your account will also be your responsibility!

Check your Practices

smrtPhone team tries to help you keep your calls and messages compliant with all regulations. In the bottom part, you find a Compliance Checklist that is a broad overview of all of the tasks, activities, and best practices for FCC compliance.

This is not a legal commitment but a best practice guide.

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