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Supreme Court Issues Huge Decision on TCPA Text Messaging Guidelines

Mar 21, 2012
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Has everyone seen the news? The Supreme Court just made a ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that could have a (good) impact on car dealers' ability to communicate with customers without fear of litigation!

The court narrowed the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to a device that has the capacity to store a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator, or produces a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator. Dealership CRM's should remain outside of this definition.

I believe car dealers can now responsibly text customers (continue to respect consumers by asking for consent) with less of a cloud of potential litigation liability hanging over their heads. Text messaging is perhaps the most effective way to communicate with shoppers, and now this ruling makes it even easier (and less risky).

What are your thoughts?

Last edited:

Dan Sayer

Dec 4, 2009
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In my research there were no prior cases involving one-off manually (human) generated text messages even before this so there should have been little fear prior (other than rogue sales people sending content that wasn't relevant to the original inquiry). IF you are using an auto generated texting solution then, yes, there were a number of parameters that needed to be in place (Opt-in, Opt-out, etc) to avoid litigation. If you read the law as it exists, there really is no separation of using a phone number for either text or phone call. The same rules applied to either and the existing cases that resulted in lawsuits all have to do with robo-dial and robo-texting. I would be interested in what @todd.smith says.