The #1 driver of TCPA class litigation comes as a result of lead fraud.
What is TCPA compliance?
The public views unsolicited calls as an invasion of consumer privacy. The US Government responded to that concern with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Passed in 1991, the TCPA prohibited telemarketing calls to landlines without prior consent. As technology developed, the TCPA was expanded to also cover text messages and mobile phones.
Additionally, the TCPA creates a corporate liability for companies to maintain their own organization-specific “do not call” lists to prevent them from making unwanted communications. Failure to comply with the rules of the regulation can result in fines. But that isn’t the only risk organizations face. Unless someone expressly opted-in to receive a sales call, businesses are breaking this statute with each unsolicited call or text. With fines ranging from $500 - $1500 per call, the financial risk is substantial.
If you are a buyer of leads, fraud may be your biggest risk right now.
— Eric J. Troutman, Troutman Firm
Is ad fraud affecting your TCPA compliance?
Aside from being fined by the government, violations of TCPA rules can result in a major class action lawsuit. Here’s an outline of TCPA violations & how they can ruin more than just your company's wallet.
Why is TCPA a problem for businesses?
Beyond dollars and cents, failure to comply with the TCPA will damage your brand’s reputation and waste valuable resources when your sales team tries to contact potential customers who did not actually ask for the call. However, it’s not simply about brand reputation and consent.
Fake leads have become a major problem in the lead generation space. Fraudsters gain access to a real individual's contact information and use it to fill out phony leads or sign-ups.
While the information may be legitimate, the source isn’t. Performance-based marketers may believe they’ve received a new potential lead; however, because the information didn’t come from the user themselves, the client will be breaking TCPA compliance if they reach out.
- Fines range between $500- $1,500 for each violation (call or text).
- Since 2020, TCPA violations have increased by 400%.
- As of 2019, the largest fine to date is $925 million for violating TCPA.
- 95% of customers tell other people about bad experiences with a brand.
- 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand following a single bad experience.
Common myths about TCPA
TCPA Rules ONLY Apply To Calling Landline Phones
While the TCPA was initially designed to address calls to landline residential phones, the rules have been expanded since then to include cell phones, fax machines, and other communication channels.
I Don’t Need Consent If It Isn’t A Sales Call
Some companies assume that if the call isn’t a sales call, then they don’t need consent per TCPA compliance guidelines. This is incorrect. As noted by call center software provider TCN, “If you are calling a wireless number to provide information or conduct a survey using an autodialer, prior written consent is always required
I'm Not At Fault If My Contact Changes Phone Numbers
Contact information that is legitimate when first collected is obsolete when that contact changes their information. A new consumer often ends up with the contact’s old phone number. The TCPA puts the burden of identifying and removing obsolete contact information on the affiliate marketer, not on the consumer.
An Existing Relationship Always Allows Me to Reach Out with Marketing Messages
The TCPA stipulates that it is not a violation to make calls if the caller has a personal relationship with the recipient. However, this does not mean that a prior business relationship provides marketers with unlimited permission to make marketing calls. If the consumer opts out of further communications from the marketer, the marketers are no longer allowed to reach out.
I Don’t Need to Document My Call Procedures
One of the most important things a marketer can do for TCPA compliance is to have a set of written procedures for how they handle their marketing calls. Having a document to show the FCC and the courts how marketing calls are handled can be crucial for protecting against fines and other penalties for inadvertent TCPA violations.
What Does Fraud Actually Cost?
Lead generation fraud can drive up the cost of leads and cause numerous other problems for your business.
The Marketer’s TCPA compliance checklist.
Here’s a quick TCPA compliance checklist to help you get started:
- Do I have a recent (less than 3 months old) copy of the National Do-Not-Call registry?
- Do I have a convenient “unsubscribe” option in my telephone and email communications?
- Do I have written procedures detailing how I scrub my contact database and comply with TCPA requirements?
- Is there an organization chart showing who is responsible for TCPA compliance?
- Is there a process flow chart showing the plan for TCPA compliance?
- Does my company provide training on TCPA to marketing and sales team members?
- Are there recorded policies and procedures for placing consumers’ names in the company’s “do not call” list?
- Are there policies for maintaining the “do not call” list and correcting data that is found to be outdated?
- Do I have a list of people who have specifically opted out of communications from my company (with date and time stamps)?
- Do my affiliate marketing campaigns have a specific callout for getting permission to contact leads by phone or email?
- Does my calling equipment (phone, computer, etc.) provide clear and accurate Caller ID information?
- Does my company comply with national do not call rules?
How does Anura help with TCPA compliance?
Achieving TCPA compliance is much easier with the right tools in place. Anura helps you stop fraudulent traffic sources from flooding your site so you can cultivate clean data and high-quality leads.
With the right tools in place, you can analyze where bad traffic is coming from, you can take proactive steps to increase your TCPA compliance, prevent bad leads from eating up your marketing budget and boost your ROI.