Guidelines for Toll-free Numbers
Plivo is dedicated to enabling high-quality, high-integrity business communications. We are careful not to allow spam or unconsented messaging. Plivo encourages our users to adhere to best practices for sending messages and content generation to protect both our network and our customers. Users of Plivo’s software, API, or gateway services will all be held to the same standards and expectations.
As a result, these guidelines and basics govern the usage of Plivo’s toll-free numbers.
Validation: to protect the integrity of text messaging networks and services, including the business operations of legitimate service providers, senders of high-throughput text messaging must pass a basic validation test during onboarding with a service provider.
Consent and content: the consumer must give appropriate consent to receive a given message type
Types of Messaging Content & Required Consent
Types of Content:
Conversational messaging is a back-and-forth conversation that takes place via text. If the consumer texts the business first and the business responds quickly with a single message, then it’s likely conversational. If the consumer initiates the conversation and the business simply responds, then no additional permission is required.
Informational messaging is when a consumer gives their phone number to a business and asks to be contacted in the future.
Appointment reminders, welcome texts, and alerts fall into this category because the first text sent by the business fulfills the consumer’s request.
A consumer should agree to receive texts when they give the business their mobile number.
Promotional messaging is when a message is sent that contains sales or marketing promotion.
Adding a call-to-action (such as a coupon code to an informational text) may place the message in the promotional category.
Promotional content is not allowed on toll-free numbers.
Types of Consent:
Implied consent is acceptable when:
- The first message is always sent by the consumer
- Two-way conversation
- The message responds to a specific request
If the consumer initiates the text message exchange and the business only responds to each consumer with relevant information, then no verbal or written permission is required.
Express consent is required when:
- The first message is sent by the consumer or business
- One-way alert or two-way conversation
- The message contains information
The consumer should give permission before a business sends them a text message. Consumers can give permission over text, on a form, or website, or verbally. Written permission also works.
Consumer opt-in and opt-out must work correctly:
Consumer opt-in and opt-out functionality is enforced at the network level via the STOP and UNSTOP keywords. This functionality cannot be disabled for service providers or message senders.
Examples of valid opt-out messages:
Opt-out confirmation message:
NETWORK MSG: You replied with the word "STOP" which blocks all texts sent from this number. Text back "UNSTOP" to receive messages again.
Opt-in keywords and messages:
A consumer can opt back in at any time to receive messages by texting the keyword “UNSTOP” to the sender’s phone number. The keyword is not case sensitive and triggers an opt-in only when sent as a single word with no punctuation or leading spaces (any trailing spaces are trimmed). If the consumer uses the opt-in keyword within a sentence, an opt-in is not triggered.
Examples of valid opt-in messages:
NETWORK MSG: You have replied "unstop" and will begin receiving messages again from this number.
Phishing, spam, illegal and unwanted illicit content is prohibited: message content that deceives or threatens consumers, including phishing, is not permitted. Even if a consumer consents to receive messages, the messages must not be deceptive; TCPA compliance alone does not satisfy this condition.
Phishing is the practice of sending messages that appear to come from reputable companies, but in fact trick consumers into revealing personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Marketing messages must be truthful, not misleading. When appropriate, marketing messages must be backed by scientific evidence in order to meet the standards of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Truth In Advertising rules. The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium, including text messages.
Any messages that constitute fraud or scam which involves wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain are prohibited.