By Angela Garfinkel, President
Author note: This article is focused on Prior Express Written Consent (PEWC) and what is required by the TCPA for placing compliant outbound telemarketing calls to wireless or VoIP phone numbers.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Declaratory Ruling in July 2015 which wreaked havoc on the outbound telemarketing industry. With the Ruling, the FCC determined that system that has the capacity to store or dial numbers automatically is considered an Automated Telephone Dialing System (ATDS). Long-story short, outbound marketers must clearly understand if they have Prior Express Consent (PEC) or Prior Express Written Consent (PEWC) with the leads in their marketing list prior to placing outbound phone calls.
To place an outbound telemarketing sales call to a wireless or VoIP phone number, the company must have PEWC to place that call if they are using an ATDS.
What is Prior Express Written Consent (PEWC)?
This term is specifically defined in the FCC regulations. It means a written agreement between the caller and the receiver of a call or message that clearly authorizes the caller to deliver to the receiver “advertisements or telemarketing messages using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial prerecorded voice,” that specifies the phone number to be called and bears the “signature” of the person receiving the call.
What is required for PEWC for outbound telemarketing?
As we conduct telemarketing compliance consulting, we look at the written form or online form that is signed by the prospect or customer to determine if the form meets 3 standards:
- The customer or prospect provides their phone number.
- The customer or prospect provides a clear and conspicuous consent to receive marketing, promotional or sales calls on this phone number, including text messages and calls from an automatic telephone dialing system.
- The name of the company that they are giving consent is clear and conspicuous and generally the list of companies should not exceed 8 within the same form.
The biggest challenge that we see with large corporations is gaining agreement on how to get their customers and prospects to give PEWC to their organization.
Best practice for getting PEWC for outbound telemarketing
Ideally, most organizations should try to incorporate getting PEWC into the initial “new customer enrollment” process. Getting PEWC after your customer relationship is established is far more difficult.
Not sure if your organization is getting proper PEWC to place telemarketing calls to your customers? Give me a call and I’ll be happy to give you my thoughts and if needed, I can refer you to an excellent law firm that specializes in Consumer Protection, Privacy and Telemarketing Issues. 516-656-5118.
Angela Garfinkel is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela is also a certified Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) auditor with the Professional Association for Customer Engagement and she is a designated Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP). Angela can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.656.5118.