What is the TCPA?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act passed by the the United States Congress in 1991 was primarily focused on limiting telemarketing calls and setting into place a series of rules for companies to abide by. However, in 2015, this law was modified to include messages along with a string of modifications.
What is the CTIA?
Similar to the TCPA, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) created the well-established short code system that is used as a primary tool to send SMS marketing messages to users. The organization regularly audits telemarketing platforms to ensure all are abiding by the laws, regulations and standards. The organization defines the Messaging Principles and Best Practices to help guide SMS marketing platforms.
What is the difference between CTIA and TCPA?
Recalling that short codes enable mass SMS marketing, there may exist confusion between the CTIA and TCPA. The overarching clarification is that both set rules that must be abided by.
However, it is important to noted that: the TCPA is the law and any violations to these set guidelines will result in a fine.
An addition note: it is important to abide by the rules to avoid any legal action. A great practice to ensure true transparency is to have a clear set of terms and conditions on the site for a customer to readily see. [Hyperlink Radiance Commerce article about terms and conditions]
A clear distinction is that the CTIA is not a governing law rather a set of rules that work in tandem to the regulations set by the TCPA. The consequences for violating such guidelines include CTIA ceasing your program.
One clear regulation set by the CTIA is a user’s ability to opt-out. There must be a clear mechanism to have customers opt-out defined by a series of words or string of words that would enable them to unsubscribe. Following, the request to be removed from the SMS marketing pool must be followed. However, the CTIA defines that there must be one final message sent to the user confirming their unsubscription. However, no further messages can be sent to the user as the penalty for violating these rules would result in the CTIS suspending your marketing platform.