The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) aims to regulate all wireless communications to consumers for the purpose of marketing. Mainly, the TCPA targets telemarketing calls, voice messages and text messages and requires companies that engage in this type of marketing to receive the express consent of the contacted party. Due to the law’s strict provisions, class action lawsuits are on the rise as companies that violate the rules can face $500 to $1,500 per violation. But what about email or fax marketing? The TCPA does not negate these types of communications. Whereas emails are relatively new, faxes were once a highly popular form of advertising. Though most businesses today rely on email marketing over fax marketing, advertising materials can still be sent this way.
Just like with telephone calls and texts, a “prior business relationship” must exist between the company sending the promotional content and the recipient of that content.
THE TCPA AND FAXES
When the Telephone Consumer Protection Act emerged in 1991 it outlawed junk faxes, or unsolicited advertising via fax. Such faxes that contain promotional content are still banned unless the company sending such faxes has a preexisting relationship with the recipient and the recipient has provided express consent to receive such materials. Consumer consent has to be clear and there has to be an option for the consumer to take himself off of the company’s phone list to stop receiving such communications in the future. All faxes for commercial purposes must include the date and time sent, and the registered name and phone number of the company sending the fax. Each page of the fax must have a clear opt-out notice. There must be a free way for the recipient to un-enroll as well as the recipient must be able to choose to opt-out at any time.
THE TCPA AND EMAILS
Although commercial emails are also targeted by the TCPA, due to the high volume of such emails they are more difficult to regulate and thus are less regulated. Both the TCPA and the CAN-SPAM Act aim to regulate email marketing spam. As with faxes, text messages and phone calls, consumer consent is the #1 requirement. A consumer must have clearly consented to receiving marketing emails and must have a preexisting relationship with the company sending them. The CAN-SPAM Act regulates commercial emails to your cell phone. All emails must have a clear and easy way for consumers to opt-out. If you feel that you have been the target of communication abuses, you must consult with a knowledgeable TCPA attorney like Jibrael S. Hindi. You could be entitled to damages of between $500 and $1,500 per call, text message or fax. Call 1-844-JIBRAEL today or contact us online for a free case evaluation!