I am imagining this to be the reaction based on a recently filed complaint against a well-known quick service restaurant. As I read through the complaint, I literally sat there with my jaw dropped…not because I was craving a deep dish with extra toppings, but rather the sheer ignorance described in this complaint. Allegedly, the brand was collecting phone numbers from pizza lovers nationwide as part of the order process. They were then using these numbers to send promotional text messages to individuals who never consented to being contacted. Now, I do not know who is to blame or if the allegations are even true…but if you are in the business of outbound communications, then you have an obligation to your clients to know the rules of the road and TCPA (the Telephone Consumer Protection Act) needs to be your GPS. It is unconscionable that whatever vendor or firm responsible for the idea did not say,…”Whoa, hold the mozzarella, you are going to be in some really hot sauce if you use those numbers for marketing purposes without express written consent”. This is at the very least what someone should have been screaming atop the pizza oven in the boardroom.
All sarcasm aside, innocent until proven guilty, this complaint underscores the importance of working with a vendor that knows the regulatory landscape and can give you the facts about regulation. Ultimately, it is a partnership between the brand and the vendor to take the time for education about what is permissible and what is not. As an industry, we have a responsibility to consumers to abide by their consent and preferences, and never break the trust. Without this, class actions will abound and vendors like ourselves will continue the struggle to show there are many responsible players out there who would never have let these messages leave the front door.
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