3 Ways to Avoid Unexpected TCPA Risks: When Mobile Phone Number Recycling Fails

Have you ever wondered what happens to a phone number once you terminate an account? Well, it’s pretty simple. The number is disconnected by the carrier and quickly issued to a new customer.  The new owner of that phone number will soon become frustrated with the baggage associated with their brand new number.


Let’s pretend you purchased a new mobile number. What if it turned out that the original owner of your phone number was a heavy social media user—they signed up to receive all their social updates, including Facebook and Twitter, via SMS. After receiving a few dozen SMS notifications, you quickly become annoyed. Fortunately, the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) was designed to prevent this from happening.


Companies like Facebook and Twitter face a significant risk by providing their SMS and voice notifications. They might have received consent from the original phone owner to send SMS notifications, but not from the current owner. Twitter was recently sued for sending communications to a number that had been recycled.


Here are three ways to avoid this risk:

  1. Include “STOP,” “END,” “CANCEL,” “UNSUBSCRIBE,” and “QUIT.” In all outbound SMS communication. [1]
  2. Create business logic within your application to periodically have customers verify their phone number
  3. Periodically perform reverse phone lookups to verify the owner ID matches your customer’s records


It is difficult to detect when a phone number has been recycled, but taking the proper steps to mitigate this TCPA risk is important in order protect your businesses from potential lawsuits.

Afraid that your business might be breaking TCPA Regulations?  Download our guide now!

Source [1]:

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