Very few people outside of the mobile marketing and SMS marketing industry are aware of the fact that the FCC just recently passed an amendment to the Telephone and Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). It is now required that companies acquire “prior written consent” from consumers to be allowed to market on their mobile devices. This actually shouldn’t be anything new for the industry since carrier compliance has always required that express written consent be obtained. However, the amendment does NOT address the question of whether or not the new amendment nullifies prior written consent. In other words, does every consumer who has already opted-in to an SMS campaign have to opt-in AGAIN?
As a result of this predicament, a coalition of mobile marketing companies have filed a petition with the FCC requesting that they explicitly state that the new TCPA amendment does NOT nullify prior written consent that was obtained before October 16, 2013.
Here’s where YOU come in. The FCC has opened the public comment period for this issue and it will not be closed until December 2nd of this year. You can submit comments supporting the petition to help get clarity on this issue. It is imperative that consumers and mobile marketers alike convey to the FCC the lack of clarity on the new amendment and how it is impacting both sides. The Mobile Marketing Association has put together the following statement for their own members to include in their comments. You should, of course, feel free to change this up as much as you would like.
“It is critical for the Commission to declare explicitly that in those cases where a mobile marketer has, prior to October 16, already received a consumer’s express consent in writing to receive certain mobile marketing communications, consistent with the TCPA rules already in place at the time consent was given, the consumer does not have to take additional steps in order to continue receiving those messages, and the mobile marketer does not need to take steps to obtain the revised forms of written consent applicable to new customers starting October 16.”
Here’s how you do it:
- Click on the following link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/
- Click on “Search for Filings”
- You will then be linked to: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/input?z=8afco
- At the top of the page type in the following proceeding number: 02-278
- If you wish to see all the petitions, comments and replies, just submit the proceeding number
- If filing, fill out the form completely and choose a file to upload, and submit.
Thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to help us with this very important issue!