Compliance Guidelines under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
What is the purpose of these guidelines?
These compliance guidelines are intended for general information purposes only for your use of the ARMS Service text messaging system. The guidelines should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. You are advised to consult your legal advisor regarding your specific legal situation.
What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. Section 227 ("TCPA"), is a federal law that prohibits the use of automatic telephone dialing systems to make non-marketing calls or text messages to cellular telephones without the called party's "prior express consent." The TCPA also requires "prior express written consent," an even higher level of consent, to make marketing calls or to send text messages containing marketing communications.
What is an Automated Dialing System?
The TCPA defines an automatic telephone dialing system as equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator and to dial such numbers. The federal government asserts that any equipment that has the capacity to automatically dial numbers when paired with the proper software as an automated telephone dialing system under the TCPA. You should consider the ARMS Service text messaging system as an automated telephone dialing system.
What are the Penalties?
The penalty provisions under the TCPA are very strict. The TCPA provides a private right of action for statutory damages of $500 for negligent violations and $1,500 for willful violations for each call made without consent. TCPA, Section 227(b)(3).
What types of text messages can I send using the ARMS System?
You may use the ARMS System to send non-marketing messages to renters regarding the repair status of the renter's vehicle. The ARMS Terms and Conditions prohibit the use of the ARMS System to call or send marketing or marketing-related messages or texts to customers. Any use of the ARMS text messaging system for marketing purposes is a material breach of the terms and conditions.
How do we obtain consent for non-marketing calls/texts?
Before sending a text message to a consumer, alert each consumer at the body shop that they will be receiving text messages about their repairs at the phone number they provided. If the consumer asks not to be texted, do not use the ARMS system to text the consumer.