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April 03, 2017

New iconectiv Solution Helps Companies Address TCPA Regulations

Have you, as a consumer, ever received an unwanted text from a company? Most people tend to receive a few around the holidays, but for the most part marketers don’t spam consumers with unwanted messages. That’s because, due to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), such practices are illegal.

Unfortunately, some companies unknowingly send out advertising texts to the wrong people due to recycled phone numbers—they don’t realize a number has been reassigned, and therefore continue to send texts to that number, even if the new owner does not want to receive those communications. The issue of texting a recycled number can become even more complicated if a company is texting about medical, financial or other personal data, as this can lead to identity fraud and a variety of other problems.

It seems like marketers are fighting a losing battle here—they want to continue to use texting as an outreach method but, with 45 million U.S. mobile numbers typically reassigned every year, even one text to a recycled number could result in heavy fines for the company. Under the TCPA, fines are set at a minimum of $500 per unsolicited contact, increasing to $1,500 per contact for offenses deemed to be deliberate.

Text messages are a great way for companies to engage with consumers, but it can be hard to comply with TCPA regulations with recycled numbers being so common. That’s why iconectiv has introduced its new iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging. The solution, which complements the company’s Messaging Solution, is directed at mobile marketers, messaging aggregators and contact centers to help them deliver targeted communications and less unwanted spam, ultimately resulting in more happy customers and fewer fines.

According to the company, it developed the iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging in response to evolving FCC rules under the TCPA that now require companies to have permission to not only send marketing messages to a mobile number, but also have consent to contact the owner of that number—that distinction is why recycled numbers have become such a headache for companies.

Scott Puopolo, Executive Vice President, Information Solutions, iconectiv, weighed in on the need for this solution by saying, "Right Party Verification for Messaging means companies can have renewed confidence in one of the most popular forms of customer engagement…When managed correctly, text messaging is a powerful tool that delivers the right message into the hands of the right people. Handled badly, it can alienate customers, damage brand integrity, and lead to costly fines."

The iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging takes on these issues. Puopolo continued, “Our Right Party Verification for Messaging service keeps the contact base up to date, keeps the marketing flowing, the customers engaged, and the regulators and associated fines at bay,” he said.

Sue Rudd, Director Networks and Service Platforms at Strategy Analytics, added, “Opt-in text messaging has become an essential communications tool for many businesses and brands - so initiatives such as the iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging that help ensure the right messages only go to the right party with guaranteed privacy are a welcome addition to help mobile marketers protect their customers and enhance ongoing engagement while increasing mutual value.”

With the iconectiv Right Party Verification for Messaging, companies will be able to monitor their contact base more effectively, thus relieving the threat that recycled numbers pose to TCPA compliance.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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