TCP stands for Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It is intended to end repetitive calls that are not relevant, or excessively annoying telephone calling practices. This act is meant for any calls that are made including calls from auto dialers, manual phone calls, faxes, or voice mails. This also goes for mobile phones and text messages. This basically says that these types of calls are nuisance calls and are not allowed.
There is a lot to know about TCPA compliance, especially if you work for or run a call center. You might be asking what is TCPA compliance and that is a good question. This article will help you to learn a little more about it and why it is important.
Not too long ago, and still even today, people were getting calls many times a day from spam callers trying to sell something or to give you information that you didn’t request. The most annoying call that people complain about all the time is the extended car warranty calls that people get all the time. Most of the time, these calls are unsolicited and at the very least are an annoying part of your day.
Information About TCPA
National Do Not Call Registry
The number one requirement of the TCPA is to not call people that are on the National Do Not Call Registry. This is a list that people can place their names and telephone numbers on so that they do not get spam calls from people and businesses. This list is updated every thirty days so that people can avoid getting these harassing phone calls.
This is important because some people still have to pay for each text message and phone call if they do not have unlimited calls or texts. You can add your name and number to the registry by following these directions: https://www.donotcall.gov/. This site tells you exactly what you need to do to be on the registry.
Times to Call
Businesses are not to call residences before 8:00am and after 9:00pm in the residences time zone. This allows a reasonable person to be able to sleep and avoid any spammy phone calls. If you are getting spam phone calls during the hours that are not allowed, you can call the registry and register a complaint.
Artificial Voice Calls and Recordings
The TCPA requires that you do not use artificial voice calls or recordings to a residence without their prior written consent. This will prevent the consumer from getting unwanted calls from people that they don’t want to speak with. If you are getting this type of call, report it to the registry.
You may not use autodialers computer generated voices, or recordings to make phone calls to any resident, especially if those residents must pay for the phone calls. Businesses that do this are violating the TCPA and can be fined for it. If you want more information about autodialers, see here. This site will explain what they are a little better so that you will know what you can report.
Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems – ATDS
It is against the law to use an automated telephone dialing system to call any emergency phone line, or any emergency line at a hospital, medical doctor, health care center, poison control center, or police station. You also can’t call any patients room in a hospital, nursing home, or health care facility. Using an ATDS will tie up lines that are meant for emergencies and could slow down a response to an emergency.
Who Does the TCPA Apply To?
The TCPA applies to everyone who uses a phone to call residents. It applies to anyone in the United States and to anyone calling someone in the US. The only people who are exempt are those who are calling from a tax-exempt organization and even they can’t call someone on the Do Not Call Registry. These must be organizations that are registered as exempt from paying taxes to the IRS.
Prior Written Consent for Phone Solicitation
A call center must have prior written consent to make phone calls to residential phone numbers, and even then, can’t call people on the do-not-call registry. They may not call cell phones or mobile phones at all, even if they did have consent. They must use a manual dial system that needs a human to intervene to make the phone calls.
Prior written consent is not needed when it is not a telemarketing call that uses a pre-recorded message. If it is not a commercial call, you can call using autodialer and pre-recorded messages. You cannot present any advertisement that might be considered a solicitation.
The TCPA is an act that tells telemarketers what they can and cannot do when it comes to calling people. Call centers and other business must follow the law in order to be able to make phone calls to people who have not given their prior written consent. They also cannot call anyone that is on the do-not-call registry.