Shut the Front Door! I Didn’t Order Text with My Pizza!

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John Tallarico

This is the reaction I imagine consumers having based on a recently filed complaint against a well-known food chain. As I read the complaint, my mouth dropped open…not because I was craving a slice with extra cheese, but rather the sheer ignorance described in this complaint.

Allegedly, the brand was collecting phone numbers from consumers nationwide as part of the order process. They were then using these numbers to send promotional text messages to individuals who never consented to being contacted via that number.

Now, I do not know if the allegations are even true…but if you are in the business of outbound communications, then you have an obligation to your clients to know the rules of the road and TCPA needs to be your GPS.  It is unconscionable that whatever vendor is responsible for the idea did not say, “Whoa, hold the pepperoni, you are going to be in some really hot sauce if you use those numbers for marketing purposes without express written consent”.  This is what someone should have been screaming from atop the pizza oven.

All sarcasm aside, innocent until proven guilty, this complaint underscores the importance of working with a vendor that knows the regulatory landscape and can give you the facts about regulation. Ultimately, it is a partnership between the brand and the vendor to take the time for education about what is permissible and what is not.

As an industry, we have a responsibility to consumers to abide by their consent and preferences, and never break the trust.  Without this, class actions will abound and  vendors like ourselves will continue the struggle to show there are many responsible players out there who would never have let these messages leave the front door.

As the Vice President of Product Management for SoundBite Communications, John is responsible for the strategic evolution and delivery of product features and functionality within the company’s cloud-based platforms – SoundBite Engage™ for multi-channel communications and SoundBite Insight for preference management.

John frequently participates in regulatory discussions which impact our clients including lobbying efforts with the ACA.  He was recently awarded the 2010 President’s Award by the Telecommunications Risk Management Association (TRMA) for his role on a Regulatory Panel — the most highly evaluated session of 2010.

John has been working in the customer communications space for over 15 years, including a senior position at Nuance Communications.

 

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