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Automated Messaging and the FCC

As we all know the wide world of technology is constantly changing. As new technology emerges new rules and regulations are created to maintain privacy and security.  The FCC has created new rules that went into effect October of 2013. These rules require that consent be obtained when automated prerecorded calls are sent to wireless numbers.  This consent may be obtained by electronic means, paper means or oral consent if it is recorded.  The FCC uses the term “robocalls” to describe automated messages created by telemarketers.  In the past, frustrated consumers have received calls during all hours of the day despite having given no consent for these calls. The previous methods for stopping these calls were to be put on the Do Not Call list, and on many occasions even having to call the telemarketers back to tell them directly to remove your name and stop calling. The new rules require telemarketers to allow the consumers to press a button during the recorded message to opt out of further phone calls making the process a lot easier. No longer can businesses call based on previously established business relationships. They must receive written consent even with that status.

To read more about the FCC regulations please visit the fcc website: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/robocalls

While patient appointment reminders do not fall under the “telemarketer” category, we recommend all of our customers receive written consent from their patients before sending any messages. Usually this can be done in the medical field during the time a patient completes their intake paperwork. Also at that time, they should choose which method they wish to receive messages by, home phone, cell phone, email or text. That little piece establishes consent and could be helpful when explaining to people why they received an automated message.

Inphonite can help you, whatever your business, to obtain the proper consent from your customers and patients.  Our final word of advice is this: Don’t just do it because it’s a law, do it because it makes sense to be nice to people by letting them choose, and sharing with them what to expect.