Understanding the Consequences of Violating Text Message Compliance


Text messaging has become a normal means of communication in the business. Not only are texts valuable in quick and accessible exchange in the workplace, but they are also important in interacting with customers.

However, the benefits of texting come with the responsibility of using them. Businesses must strictly adhere to text message compliance requirements to avoid legal repercussions and maintain brand integrity. 

If you are yet to take your business text messages seriously, here is what might happen:

Why You Should Archive Messages

Using a text message archive app is a necessary step in keeping responsible communications in the workplace. This type of software instantly captures and stores all messages sent to and from the business, creating an extensive database of records.

All businesses, regardless of industry or size, must maintain records of their business communications for compliance. If your company does not have a dedicated archiver, you might face the following:

Legal Violations:

Regulatory authorities, including the SEC, FINRA, HIPAA, and the GDPR in Europe, all hold strict standards regarding the documentation of business communications. Any businesses found to have inadequate archives of their text messages may face legal charges and penalties against them.

Reputational Damage

Reputational damage often comes after a business is put under legal punishment for failing to archive its text messages. This makes customers, investors, and other stakeholders hesitant to interact with the company because they can’t trust them with their information.

Data Loss

Text messages contain valuable information that can be used for a variety of purposes, including e-discoveries, litigations, workplace investigations, and insights for strategy formulation.

The TCPA: Emphasizing Consent

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a federal legislation written to govern telemarketing, Do-Not-Call lists, and text messaging. While this law does not mention specific to SMS, it considers text messages as phone calls.

On the other hand, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) is a trade group representing the telecom industry. The CTIA maintains the Short Code Monitoring Handbook, which outlines the guidelines concerning SMS marketing.

Businesses must strictly follow the TCPA and CTIA. The TCPA prevents unsolicited text messages, and guidelines provided by the CTIA further strengthen this. Both are primarily concerned with a common factor of ethical business texting: consent.

Regardless of the purpose of implementing text messaging campaigns for customers, all businesses must obtain the written consent of their target market, along with transparency in the terms and conditions, ethical content of the messages, and an option to opt out.

The following penalties are imposed if a business is found guilty of violations:

  • Heavy Fines – Violation of the TCPA often results in massive fines of up to $500 per message. Class-action lawsuits can reach millions of dollars in fines.
  • Short Code Audits – Lacking opt-out instructions, sending spam and prohibited content, and other related violations will trigger short code audits. Short code audits give the owner a specific time frame to correct their mistakes, or else their short code gets terminated or suspended.

Getting Started with Text Message Compliance

Responsible business owners understand that text messages are important official communications containing valuable information. As such, it is paramount to monitor them and maintain compliance to avoid severe penalties.

To get started on your text messaging compliance program, visit LeapXpert – one of the world’s leading providers of reliable message archiving solutions.