From the EPA to the FCC and every regulatory body in between, lawmakers have empowered these agencies to protect everyday Americans from unethical business practices.
Meeting the standards of rules and regulations doesn't have to be a bad thing. The same oversight designed to protect consumers also provides assurances that your competitors must play by the same set of rules as you. Although government compliance may seem like a hassle on the surface, consider the pros and cons of communications regulations.
How Regulatory Compliance Negatively Impacts Business
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the primary independent agency that regulates marketing phone calls and text messages. The FCC gets its phone call and text messaging mandate through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which penalizes companies for breaking consumer protection rules. These are some of the drawbacks for businesses who want to electronically market brands and products.
- Limits Call and Text Times: The rules allow businesses to connect with potential consumers only from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in most cases. This limits businesses in terms of contacting certain demographics effectively.
- Limits Automated Calls: Infamously known as “robocalls,” the FCC restricts their use, placing a greater burden on businesses to staff call centers.
- Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC): This list bans businesses from making contact with consumers unless they give advanced permission.
- Permission For Mobile Messaging: The requirement for gaining permission to message consumers’ mobile devices adds labor and cost to the marketing process. Learn more about getting contacts to opt in compliantly here.
- Excessive Penalties: Missteps in communications marketing can result in massive fines. Text messages that do not comply with government regulations can be subject to a $500 fine per message. If the courts deem your non-compliance action was a willful disregard of the TCPA, civil penalties could rise to $1,500 per message.
There's little doubt that the impact of regulatory compliance can add to cost and limit communications. However, those same issues can provide your business with a competitive advantage.
How Regulatory Compliance Positively Impacts Business
At first look, compliance may feel like another unnecessary cost for your business. After all, you are already saddled with fees for licenses, inspections, and excessive taxation... but communications compliance can also prove beneficial.
- Call Limits Level the Playing Field: The same regulations that seem to impede call times and automated calling have one common benefit - every business is on equal footing. Because compliance means that everyone has to follow the same rules, it creates a level playing field.
- Prior Permissions Can Help: The Do-Not-Call Registry helped reduce unwelcome and annoying spam. With unethical businesses out of the picture and prior approval in place, your brand is a welcome message that consumers embrace. The DNC reduces the noise so that you can be heard.
- Cost of Doing Business: Although the regulations regarding electronic communications appear to cause a cost uptick, that is not necessarily a negative. Those costs impact everyone across the board, which means they are being rolled into every outfit’s bottom line. Roll yours in as well and reap the benefits.
While government regulations create a compliance challenge for businesses interested in tapping the vast potential of electronic communication, they help improve consumer attitudes toward messaging and put your brand on equal footing with others. In many ways, compliance proves beneficial for smart, ethical companies connecting with everyday people in real-time.
*This article is intended to provide a general overview of a topic area and is not legal advice.