Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a law that was passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1991. It addresses how businesses can contact customers via phone and SMS for marketing purposes.

In 2013, the legislation was amended to require businesses to obtain express written consent before sending text messages to customers for marketing purposes.

The TCPA requires businesses to (1) identify themselves in sending text and opt-out instructions, (2) allow recipients to opt-out by replying directly to the received SMS messages, (3) send marketing text messages only within the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time of the recipient).

Businesses that fail to comply with the TCPA can receive violation fines for “statutory damages” per each text message and for willful violations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also has the authority to act against organizations that violate the TCPA.