How to write compliant terms & conditions for your shortcode application

Carriers insist that specific language must be present in your publicly available terms & conditions and privacy policy. Both of these documents are required as part of your shortcode application. There are a few things you must include in your terms and conditions and privacy policy to be compliant with regulations. Please adhere to the following recommendations.  

Terms & conditions

You must submit the URL to your terms & conditions with your shortcode application. Here’s what you need to include in your T&Cs. 

  1. A brief description of what you are using the shortcode for.

Example: We send job alerts to users who have registered on our site and opted in to receive SMS job alerts.

  1. The opt-in process for new users: a short description of how new users can opt into your services. The opt-in process may include any of the following methods:
  • Keyword opt-in: Text START to 75486 to subscribe to our notifications services.
  • Web opt-in: Sign up through a web form. Users can subscribe to our notifications services while registering an account through the website or changing your notifications preferences in the account settings.
  • Paper opt-in: Sign up by filling out a paper form at a store or kiosk. Users can subscribe to our notification services by completing the membership form at XYZ stores.
  1. Opt-out and help keywords in BOLD including the shortcode digits. 

Example: You can cancel the SMS service at any time. Just text "STOP" to XXXXX. When we receive a "STOP" message, we will send one last confirmation SMS to confirm the subscription status, after which no more SMS messages will be sent.

For more information, just text "HELP" to xxxx. When we receive a “HELP” message, we will provide instructions on how to use this service and how to unsubscribe. 

  1. List of participating carriers

Example: Participating carriers include: AT&T, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Metro PCS, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Nextel & Virgin Mobile.

  1. The following statement, verbatim: T-Mobile is not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. 
  1. A “message and data rate” statement, accompanied by a “message frequency” statement. 

Example: As always, message and data rates may apply for any messages sent or received. You will receive approximately three messages per week. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, please contact your wireless provider. 

  1. A link to your privacy policy.
  2. A support email address and phone number that shortcode message recipients can use to contact you.

A complete messaging policy section for a Terms & Conditions page might read as follows. 

Messaging Policy

Plivo offers an SMS messaging service. You can opt-in to our services by texting “START” to 75486. You may choose to opt-in to our SMS messaging service at your own discretion, and you may opt-out at any time. We will communicate with you via SMS for the purposes of service alerts and notifications. We may also send promotional messages. 

Participating carriers include AT&T, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile, Metro PCS, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Nextel & Virgin Mobile. Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. T-Mobile is not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.

As always, message and data rates may apply. You will receive an average of five messages per week, but we may occasionally exceed this number in certain circumstances. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, please contact your wireless provider.

You can cancel the SMS service at any time. To cancel, text "STOP" to 75486. We will respond with a single SMS message to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. After this, you will no longer receive SMS messages from us. 

You may, at any time, text "HELP" to 75486 for a brief help message. We will respond with instructions on how to use our service as well as how to unsubscribe. You may also contact Plivo support at +1 (877) 555-1212 or email us at sms_support@plivo.com. You can view our privacy policy here.

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