On October 16, 2013, new FCC regulations will go into effect that introduce the requirement of prior express written consent for certain types of commercial phone calls and text messages to consumers. Among other things, the new rules require that marketers have prior express written consent to autodial or send pre-recorded messages to cell phones. The rules, which put the burden of proof for compliance on the marketer/caller, come with sti penalties ($500.00 – $1,500.00 per call/text) and will open the door for numerous consumer class action lawsuits.
The new Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules will have broad implications for three reasons. First, many marketers that make outbound calls to consumers utilize call centers. These call centers typically use “autodialing” software to make the calling process more efficient. Second, a growing percentage of U.S. households exclusively rely on wireless phones. As of June 2012, 35.8% of U.S. households were wireless only1. Third, consumers can bring private lawsuits or initiate class action lawsuits against marketers that violate the regulations.
This combination of high numbers of auto-dialed calls, coupled with increasingly exclusive reliance on mobile phones and sti penalties for non-compliance, make these changes significant. This paper is focused on Internet leads, also known as web leads or inquiries. An Internet lead is a consumer inquiry generated when a consumer fills out a form on a website requesting to be contacted by a business (marketer). Internet leads are often purchased by marketers on a cost per lead basis. Companies that buy and sell Internet leads are part of the Online Lead Generation Industry, a $1.7 billion industry in 20122.
This is a two-part whitepaper, provided by the law firm of Klein Moynihan Turco LLP (KMT) and ActiveProspect, a marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. Part 1, written by KMT, provides a background on the legal aspects of the new TCPA regulations as they pertain to Internet leads. Part 2, provided by ActiveProspect, highlights a simple and comprehensive solution to verify and store proof of consent for Internet leads for purposes of compliance with the new regulations.
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