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The TCPA and the STOP Message: What You Need to Know

Feb 19, 2023
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.

Are you familiar with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the STOP message? If not, it is important to understand the regulations and requirements for businesses when it comes to telemarketing and sending text messages.

The TCPA was enacted back in 1991 and aims to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages, and the STOP message allows consumers to opt out of receiving these types of messages.

In this blog post we will examine the TCPA and implications for the STOP message, and explain what you need to know along the way. So read on to learn more!

The basics of the STOP message

If you receive a telemarketing call or text message and want to opt out, you can simply reply with the word “STOP.” This will send a message to the company indicating that you do not want to receive any further calls or texts. The company is then required to honor your request and add your phone number to their do-not-call list.

It is important to note that the STOP message only applies to telemarketing calls and texts. It does not apply to calls or texts that are not related to telemarketing, such as calls or texts from banks or schools.

This rule is put into place by the TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which is a federal law that regulates telemarketing and the use of automated phone systems.

One important aspect of the TCPA is the requirement for companies to allow consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls or text messages. This opt-out mechanism is known as the STOP message.

It is also worth noting that the TCPA has some strict requirements for telemarketers. For example, telemarketers are not allowed to call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm local time. They are also required to identify themselves and the company they represent at the beginning of the call.

The TCPA also regulates the use of automated phone systems, such as robocalls. If a company uses an automated phone system to make calls or send texts, they must get the consumer’s prior express written consent before doing so.

Penalties and liabilities

The TCPA provides for both civil and criminal penalties in terms of companies that violate this law. Consumers who believe that their rights under the TCPA have been violated can file a lawsuit against the company and may be entitled to damages.

In addition to the STOP message, the TCPA also requires companies to provide a toll-free number that consumers can call, so they can opt out of receiving telemarketing calls or texts in the future. This number must be included in every telemarketing call or text.

The TCPA applies to both landline and mobile phones. So, whether you use a traditional home phone or a cell phone, you have the right to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls or texts.

It is worth noting that the TCPA does not apply to all types of calls or texts. For example, calls or texts from political organizations, charities, and survey research firms are generally not covered by the TCPA.

Final thoughts

These were some of the most important aspects of the STOP message and rules of the TCPA. The STOP message is an important protection for consumers that aim to make life easier for private individuals.

Are you a consumer who has been receiving unwanted telemarketing calls or a business looking to ensure compliance with TCPA and the STOP message? Or perhaps a business who wishes to ascertain your options to fully comply with this law?

Our attorneys have years of experience in helping our clients navigate the complexities of TCPA and the STOP message regulations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step in protecting your rights and interests.

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