Phone Carriers New Requirements for Business Texting
National phone carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are starting to implement new requirements for business texting to counteract telemarketing spam. The requirements primarily focus on businesses using application-to-person (A2P) text messages sent via 10-digit long code (00310DLC) phone numbers, which are phone numbers that include a local area code and support high volume texting.
Most major phone carriers will start requiring businesses to register their texting campaigns and follow various protocols with their texts, such as obtaining consent. Businesses may be subject to large fines and penalties for non-compliance.
The 10DLC requirements are different in certain respects for each carrier and are at varying stages of application and development. Most agents and brokers who use 10DLC texting will likely be able to work on compliance with any requirements in coordination with their third-party texting vendor.
What steps should agents take next?
- We recommend that agencies stay current with developments from their cellular carrier as well as those their customers may be using.
- We recommend that agents renew consent by obtaining a new opt-in form annually, such as when the agency meets with the client to review coverages prior to renewal. An opt-in template is available for all Big “I" member agencies (scroll down for more info).
- For more information on these developments, visit the following links:
MUST GET CLIENTS TO OPT-IN TO RECEIVE TEXT MESSAGING
FCC regulations say that an established prior business relationship does not exempt you from needing prior express written consent before sending commercial text messages. Even when they're one-on-one. Even when the client texts you first! Get your copy of sample text messaging opt-in form and terms & conditions from ACT. You must login.
Text messaging gives independent agents a quick and simple way to communicate with clients, on an individual or aggregate basis, regarding policy reminders, new product offerings, and risk management tips. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has broadly interpreted the TCPA to regulate nearly all text messaging. The FCC’s interpretation of the TCPA appears to cover all commercial text messages even if they are sent to one person rather than multiple recipients.
Additionally, unlike the rules for some other commercial communications, the FCC has ordered that an existing business relationship does not provide an exemption to the TCPA requirements of obtaining prior express written consent before sending commercial text messages.
Therefore, agents should ask clients to opt in to text messaging and provide messaging terms and conditions, even if the agency communicates via text only with existing or prospective clients or when texts are initiated by the client or prospective client. Agents also need to understand the capabilities of their agency management system for text messaging.