Be ready! You may receive a letter requesting thousands of dollars because you sent a text message that is not TCPA compliant.
Recently one of our clients with Image Building Media received a letter accusing them of sending text messages that were not TCPA compliant. In this video webinar, you can learn the details about the letter, what appears to be a scam, and what we did.
You can also see what TCPA compliance looks like and see the CRM, lead, lead gen dashboard, and more.
Hello everyone, this is Allan Mcnabb with Image Building Media, and we have some very important information we’re getting out today as we are on YouTube live. Just the other day, one of our clients received a three-page letter accusing that they were sending text messages that were not TCPA compliant. So if you’re not familiar with TCPA compliance, something you really need to look into, that is the FCC federal regulation that governs what is required in the situation where text messages are being sent by a business, and it also has to do with other electronic communication and with telephone calls.
So we’re talking about text messages today, and you can just look this up really quickly, and I’ll just share my screen and just show you a Google search, and all the companies that are regulating texting and stuff like this, they’ve all got information about this. I assume they’re working toward protecting themselves, and I totally understand that. And here, for example, with this simple texting.com information there that expressed the business must receive express written consent. And this is typically done in a few ways. When someone fills out a form on a web page, perhaps they have to tick a box that’s required before they can send it, and usually there’s just a disclaimer there above or below the button that they would click to send it, and I’ll show you an example of that in just a few minutes.
So what I wanna do is I wanna just share with you this information. Basically, the client sent to us pictures of the three pages that they received. We looked at that, we were able to do some research, and then we also sent to the client information showing that there was TCPA compliance. So I have no idea why, in this case I’m not disclosing any name, information, I have no idea why the person would have done this. The way that it’s all formulated and the details that are there, it appears to be something that was done purposeful, that this person perhaps was out just filling out web forms, submitting them whether or not they see the disclaimer there for TCPA compliance, maybe hoping that they’re gonna get some text messages and then they’re going to send this letter, and perhaps there’s going to be some companies that are just gonna pay it because they’re afraid, maybe they don’t have documentation, and so I just don’t know.
But TCPA compliance is something we talk about very regularly with our clients, and I’m not surprised at all that scams would start with TCPA compliance, just like with everything else. You know, we get those letters about images on a website and other things like that. So I’m not surprised that this would be happening also, but it’s a wake-up call though. If you or your employees, they’re sending out text messages, and you don’t have permission to do that, you need to seriously look into exactly what’s going on, make sure you are compliant. The fines I looked up just the other day, if it’s accidental, it’s $500 per offense per text message, if it’s done on purpose, then it’s $1500 per text message.
And by the way, I mean there’s large reputable companies that have been sued and have paid millions of dollars. So this is something that is very real. It’s something that the government is going after, which I totally understand. I don’t wanna get text messages, I receive spam text messages, I don’t wanna get those. So this is very real. And so you certainly need to know about compliance, and you certainly need to know what you need to do because sending text messages is a great marketing feature. And so that’s something as the best marketers we can be, we certainly need to use as part of our arsenal, certainly needs to be compliant. So let me show you some images.
First of all, just to show you the letter, again, personal information is being removed from this. It looks like it’s a letter that comes from something you would expect from an attorney. There’s not an attorney of anything that I could see that signed it. The person that sent it at the top doesn’t claim to be an attorney from anything that I saw, but just receiving it, someone would think, “Oh no, I’ve gotten a letter from an attorney, they’re accusing me of this stuff, they have information. I mean the person had, in the third page of the letter had a copy of the text that were sent,” so this was very well-thought-out. It quotes legal statutes in the FCC and what’s required if you’re sending text messages and so very well-thought-out. Someone sending the text messages may have thought, “Oh, I had no idea. I didn’t know this was the law.” They’re just gonna pay the $15,000 just to get this over with annulled and that type of thing, so I don’t know if that…
It just seems very purposeful to me that all of this was intentional. So let me show you what we did. Of course, we went to our CRM, the client CRM, where the leads come in. And by the way, we’re using High Level for the CRM here, it’s an overall marketing platform, much more than just a CRM. And you see that the Lead ID comes in, so we could can immediately track that down. The next thing that we did is we went to see if, indeed, this was a lead that was worked. And this client is using verse.io to work the leads. Verse does an outstanding job. They warp work leads for some of the biggest companies in numerous industries. And they’ve got it down to a science, they use some AI, they have a 24-7-365 call center. So if the lead wants to talk to someone, wants to email… There is also where the individual will get involved even with the texting, and things like that. So a great company. Highly recommend them. And I just don’t think you can beat the price for having your leads worked. And they are very sensitive to TCPA compliance.
The first day meeting with our client, I mean, that was part of the topic, because they’re only going to take leads to work that are TCPA compliance. So indeed, we found, yes, this is a lead that came in. Yes, it was sent to verse. Yes, Verse did work the lead, and of course, we can see the texts, etcetera, that were sent out there.
Alright, so the next thing is, of course, is it compliant? Now, this lead did, had come from SolarReviews, and SolarReviews does an outstanding job. You can see here in the dashboard that we can track down every lead, is tied to the Lead ID that comes into the CRM. It gives us the website where that lead was curated from, where it came from. It gives us the contact information, the address, and, of course, gives us the cost. So we were able then to find exactly where this lead came from, all documented. And by the way, for your TCPA compliant, I mean, you may need to go through these steps. So you need to make sure that you can follow through on that, all of this information comes into the CRM.
Okay, so next we simply go to… And of course, we already knew this, that the websites were with SolarReviews, that they are generating leads, by the way, they generate leads for some of the absolute biggest solar companies in the industry. They provide outstanding information, the people that go there, that use their websites, the information is… It’s just… It’s not a website that’s a couple of pages, and all they want is wanted your information, I mean, they’re truly giving valuable research, documented information, that’s very important, and then of course, they do give people an opportunity to fill out a lead. When you fill out… When a user fills out a lead on one of the websites with SolarReviews, they have the option to have that lead go to one, two, three or four solar companies. So that’s nice. If someone is shopping, and they know they’re gonna be shopping, it just saves save some time from going through lots of different websites. They can just go on and say right there, “Yeah, I wanna be contacted, or I want this to be sent to four solar companies.”
So we’re we were able to go right to here. We already knew that all the leads they curate were TCPA compliant, and we were able to just go here and we’re able to take a snapshot of that compliance. So of course, then we report all this information to our client, and at that point, the client can reply the letter. In cases like this, we recommend just go on and have your attorney, go on and send a letter out however they do it, whether they include the documentation or not, I can could see for various reasons why they would, or why they wouldn’t, and that way there’s a legal documentation and the attorney knows what to say, maybe what not to say, and things like that. And it’s gonna cost what? $100 bucks or something like that to go on and have a legal record of this issue because it is very important. It’s very important.
So anyway, I wanted to get give this information out to you just as quickly as we could. As these scams… I’ll say this is an alleged scam, I’m not going to presume that the person wasn’t just genuinely… Not knowing that there was a TCPA compliance disclosure there. But I would not be surprised to see scams like these, and it’s just like other ones that have come up, whether it’s like the images on your website, you’ll get emails requesting money, accusing the images on the website that they were stolen from somebody, and so they’re writing a letter, and so I would not be surprised should we to be seeing more and more of this, to see scams like this. And as business owners and marketers it this is just a heads up that you really gotta be compliant and you’ve gotta have the consent, be able to document that when questioned, and just expect that more and more of these things are gonna come up.
So anyway, this is Allan Mcnabb with Image Building Media, and I wanted to make sure that all of you had a heads up and knew what we were experiencing, and I gave you some ideas on how to handle it, and perhaps just a heads up to be ready. Make sure you’ve got your documentation in order and things such as that, be ready to deal with these things. If everything’s in order, you can deal with it quickly, you can do a little bit of research and you’re done. So just a little heads up with that.
So Allan Mcnabb, Image Building Media for more information and to learn more about internet marketing, whether it’s social media, email, texting, whatever it may might be. Visit our website imagebuildingmedia.com, and thank you for joining us and watching this video.
We specialize in internet marketing, including SEO, social media marketing, website design, content marketing, video marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, mobile web marketing, online reputation management, CRM integration, and more. We also provide consulting services, including conversion analytics.