October 25, 2013
Dear Valued Baytech Mobile Customers:
A new updated ruling by the FCC, went into effect October 16, 2013, regarding SMS messaging services and how you are required to interact with your customers via sms going forward. I will do my best to provide explanation of how we interpret this new rule, what we have been doing from the beginning to always be in compliance, and how the rule affects your future SMS campaigns and/or lists.
The ruling is an update to the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act; an effort to bring it into alignment with the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, part of the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act.
The ruling now classifies text messages along with auto-dialed "telemarketing robocalls," and requires "prior express written consent" from the recipient. This consent can take the form of an "email, website form, text message, telephone key press, or voice recording." The agreement must now have a "clear and conspicuous disclosure" that providing a phone number will result in message delivery by a specific seller. That seller bears the burden of "proving that a clear and conspicuous disclosure was provided, and that an unambiguous consent was obtained." The ruling now requires all web form submissions have a double opt-in process and accepting calls or texts cannot be a requirement for purchase. There is no exemption any longer for an existing business relationship.
Exemptions are made for purely informational messages: "For instance, bank account balance, credit card fraud alert, package delivery, and school closing information are types of information calls that we do not want to unnecessarily impede." Non-profit and political messages are also exempt from the rule.
Baytech Mobile has been a leading example of compliance since we began our sms marketing service over four years ago. All collection of information has been done according to not only the FTC Guidelines, but that of the Mobile Marketing Association and CTIA best practices as well. However, the new rules do require us to further tighten up the disclaimer section of the messaging and opt-in responses.
As of Friday October 25th, 2013, if you are a Baytech Mobile Managed Client, please know that ALL of your Web forms and associated keywords are or have been being automatically updated for you, with a double opt in message, and the more defined disclaimer has been added to the bottom of the web forms on your websites and mobile websites. There are no additional costs to you for these edits and changes. If you are an “unmanaged software only client”, we ask that you comply with these new rules immediately to prevent any problems or complaints.
Here are the changes to your Baytech Mobile terms of service that are effective immediately:
The following is the new disclaimer that must be included on ALL printed material when calling to action with SMS.
Baytech Mobile does not condone spamming, selling, or tricking a customer into anything. We believe we give the customer a choice of communicating with you, and when they make that choice we do just that – communicate. Every message we send has opt out instructions, and every message we send pertains to the topic we are announcing and is regarding the brand, company or service they requested.
Done properly, digital marketing strategies are unbeatable, and we will continue to stay in compliance and show you how to grow large lists of customers to bring profits to your business for years to come.
Baytech Companies, LLC
DBA Baytech Mobile
Jim Beck, the President of Baytech Mobile has been working with clients to help them engage the mobile consumer through text message marketing solutions and strategies. He loves to help others implement text marketing into their businesses He hopes you enjoy this mobile marketing blog as much as he does writing it!