5 Ways to Prevent a Class Action TCPA Claim on Your Business

As consumers continue to switch from landlines to mobile phones as their primary contact numbers, the landscape for telemarketing companies keeps shifting. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was amended a few years ago to address these changes. The act now protects consumers with landlines, as well as those with mobile phones, from receiving automated telemarketing calls without prior written consent, and establishes several guidelines for telemarketers. In light of the current laws, how do you protect your business from a class action TCPA lawsuit?

  1. Establish Consent

This tip may seem straightforward, because it’s right there in the TCPA regulations. The question is, how do you obtain express prior consent to call a customer using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS)? The key is to get written consent that discloses all of the necessary information. Your written agreement must clearly inform the customer that his or her signature will authorize your company to make telemarketing calls or text messages using an ATDS, an artificial voice, or a prerecorded voice. The agreement must also specify the phone number you wish to call. Your agreement can be made official with a physical, electronic, or digital signature, but the Act’s new rules also allow you to get permission via email, website form, text message, voice recording, or telephone key press.

  1. Don’t Restrict the Scope of Consent

While the TCPA encourages you to be transparent in your written agreements, you do not have to place unnecessary boundaries on the scope of consent. If your agreement limits the number of calls or texts you will make in a given time period and you exceed that limit, you open yourself up to “scope of consent” lawsuits.

  1. Err On the Side of Caution

Get to know the TCPA, including the recent amendments, as much as possible. Always check the Do Not Call (DNC) registry. Keep records of established consent for at least four years, because that’s the statute of limitations for TCPA action. A competent telemarketing attorney can clear up any legal gray areas you may encounter. Above all, don’t take any unnecessary risks.

  1. Check Your Device

You may not consider your device to be an ATDS, but the FCC’s laws interpret this very broadly. If someone makes a claim against you, the device may be considered an ATDS—even if it doesn’t currently perform as an autodialer. If it can be modified or altered to function as an ATDS, it may be considered one under the law. Consider your current automated devices and keep in mind the associated risks.

  1. Hire a Third Party

You should invest in a third-party verification service to help you verify phone numbers, differentiate between landlines and cell phones, and provide more information. In the case of written consent, you may only call the phone number specified on the agreement. Consent becomes void when the customer changes phone numbers. A verification service will help you avoid such mistakes, minimize liability, and identify more opportunities.

When you’re in doubt, the best way to defend yourself against TCPA action is to enlist the help of an effective telemarketing attorney. The professional team at Cove Law can make sure your business complies with all of the relevant laws and regulations. Give us a call to protect your business and stay competitive in the ever-changing telemarketing industry.

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Written by Andrew Cove

Cove Law has significant experience defending federal investigations and formal actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Finance Protection Board and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as similar matters on the state level by the respective state Attorney General’s Offices and other local agencies.