Are You Complying with the New Rules for Telemarketing Calls and Texts?

October 31, 2013

By: Bryan Smith
Marketing Manager- ABC Financial

With the new rules for telemarketing calls and texts that started on October 16th, ABC wanted to make sure you are aware of how these changes affect your club. There is now a distinction between the types of communication you can send members – Telemarketing and Informational.

What every club needs to know:

TELEMARKETING

Telemarketing communications are defined as the marketing of goods or services by means of telephone calls or texts; typically unsolicited and to potential members.

Examples:

  • “Upgrade to our Platinum Package for $29.95 to receive amenities such as unlimited tanning and babysitting.”
  • “Join today for just $5, with no additional fees.
  • “Free Physical Training session when you join by October 31st.”
  • As of October 16th, having an Established Business Relationship with prospects, current and former members, is no longer enough to legally send prerecorded and autodialed telemarketing calls and texts
  • As of October 16th , prospects, current and former members are ALL opted out as it relates to receiving prerecorded and autodialed telemarketing communications
  • Prerecorded and Autodialed Telemarketing Calls and Texts are now against the law without written consent
  • Telemarketing Calls and Texts made from 1 club staff to 1 member (1 to 1) is OK to send without written consent

Note: These Calls or Texts must originate from an individual’s phone and should NOT be sent through a service or tool.

INFORMATIONAL

Informational campaigns are meant to be informative in nature, without solicitation of goods or services to both active and potential members.

Examples:

  • “Due to flooding at our Sherwood location, we will be closed for repairs.”
  • “Come by to our Grand Opening for free food and fun.”
  • “Welcome to University Fitness! We value your business”
  • Informational Calls and Texts made via any type of phone or tool, including prerecorded and autodialed services, are OK to send without written consent

WRITTEN CONSENT

Written consent must explicitly give the club permission to send telemarketing calls and texts to members and prospects, and acknowledge the member’s agreement to receive them. The written consent verbiage must be clear and standalone from other terms and conditions. For physically written acknowledgement, a member must sign or initial next to the verbiage granting consent. Written consent can also be signed using electronic or digital signatures. You should be aware that in the event of an investigation, you or your vendor will be asked to show proof of written consent so documentation should be stored or on file at the club.

Make sure you ask the vendors you work with the following:

  • Are you currently following the new TCPA rules established on October 16th, 2013?
  • Are you only sending telemarketing calls & texts on my behalf to those members that have provided written consent?
  • How do you capture anyone who opts out?
  • If I choose to use another vendor, will you provide our data of those members who have opted in and those that have opted out?

For Frequently Asked Questions about the new rulings, click here (.pdf). If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your Account Executive or our Professional Services group at 1-866-992-8960.