The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) applies to short code text messaging, and protects consumers from receiving text message spam sent through a short code. This page gives a brief history of the TCPA, and how the law affects short code text messaging.

TCPA Text Messaging History

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding SMS marketing is that as a business, you can send SMS messages to a pre-existing database of your own customers.

Due to a federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it’s very often the case that, as a business, you’re unable to send marketing text messages to a pre-existing database of your own customers.

Without making the appropriate disclosures to customers when collecting their mobile phone numbers, and then sending them a marketing SMS message, your business would be in direct violation of the TCPA.

Doing so could cost your business up to $1,500 for each SMS message received by each customer.

TCPA SMS Short Code Compliance

Prior Written Express Consent

Since October 16, 2013, businesses have been required to obtain “Prior Written Express Consent” from their customers before being allowed to legally send them SMS marketing messages. Thanks to the E-SIGN Act, there is no need to actually get customers to sign a piece of paper, a website form submission or SMS message suffices.

Condition of Purchase Consent

In addition to making sure customers are aware that they’ll be receiving marketing SMS messages from your business through an automatic telephone dialing system, the TCPA also requires that customers are made aware that this consent is not a condition of making a purchase.

The following disclosure covers both of the above TCPA requirements. This disclosure must be made “clear and conspicuous” to your customers before they opt into your SMS marketing campaign. The U.S. Short Code Directory also recommends you require customers to also consent to these disclosures via SMS message before they opt-in.

By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic telephone dialing system. Consent to these terms is not a condition of purchase.

Legal Disclaimer

The materials available on the U.S. Short Code Directory website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). You should contact an attorney before launching an SMS marketing campaign, or with any questions about the TCPA.