TELEPHONE AND SMS CONTACT POLICY
The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), related FCC regulations, and related court interpretations protect consumers from specific types of telemarketing. Under the TCPA “telemarketing” is defined as “the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person.” 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(f)(12). The TCPA restricts cold calls, prerecorded sales calls, the use of auto-dialers, fax machines and prohibits most calls to cellular telephones.
Caramel, Inc. (“Caramel”) is not a telemarketer and does not engage in telemarketing. Nevertheless, Caramel, Inc. has developed a Telephone and SMS Contact Policy (“Policy”) to comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding telephone contacts (“TC Laws”) and to reflect industry best practices. Caramel is committed to complying with the letter and spirit of TC Laws. With respect to telemarketing, this includes the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act and its implementing regulation, known as the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 310). With respect to telemarketing (voice and text), non-sales telephone and text message contacts, and unsolicited facsimile advertisements, this includes the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and implementing regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).
Caramel aims to comply with all federal and state standards governing telephone contacts with consumers and business partners. The Policy applies to all aspects of products and services offered by Caramel (collectively “products”), and across all of Caramel’s operations, including marketing, decisioning, servicing, and collections, and to all personnel who work on behalf of Caramel, whether as employees, agents, representatives, or Service Providers (“Personnel”).
This policy covers Caramel, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries. Caramel, its employees, and its Service Providers must treat all customers consistent with this Policy. This Policy will be published to all employees and made available to its Service Providers when applicable. For purposes of this Policy, “Service Provider” is any person that provides a material service to Caramel in connection with Caramel’s product.
Do Not Call Policy (TCPA 47 USCS § 227)
Consumers may request by telephone or in writing, that our company stop calling them and place their name on our company specific Do Not Call list (“DNC”). Although we may ask for their names, address, and telephone number, we will accept a request even if the consumer only wishes to provide their telephone number. Consumers have the right to have calls stopped and to be put on our Do Not Call list, even if they are still a customer. The specific reason or severity of the tone of the request is not important. ALL REQUESTS WILL BE HONORED.
When we receive a request, the telephone number is added to our Do Not Call list within (10) business days. In some cases, it may take up to (14) business days for the consumer’s telephone to be removed from other company wide calling lists. A Do Not Call request stays on our list for at least five (5) years. If the consumer moves, changes their telephone or adds additional telephone numbers, the consumer must provide us with the new telephone number for us to prevent calls to that number. We will not share the information customers provide without their prior permission, except affiliated companies or subsidiaries.
The TCPA mandates that telemarketers:
Maintain a Do not Call Policy;
Provide a copy of the Policy to requesting consumers;
Only make calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time of the person being called);
Only make calls and texts to numbers not on the National Do Not Call List (DNC);
Only make calls and texts to numbers not on the business’ internal do not call list;
When calling cell phones, restrict the use of automatic telephone dialer systems (ATDS) to consumers that have given prior express consent to receive such calls;
Restrict the use of artificial or prerecorded voice recordings to consumers that have given prior express consent to receive such calls; and
Identify the caller’s name and location, and company name. In addition, the TCPA prohibits using a fax machine, computer, or other device to send any unsolicited advertisement to a fax machine unless the sender has an established business relationship with the recipient, the recipient voluntarily made the fax number available, and the unsolicited advertisement contains a compliant opt-out provision.
Established Business Relationship Calls
Doing business with Caramel creates an established business relationship under the TCPA. Caramel may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase or sale, or last delivery, or last payment, unless you ask Caramel to place you on our internal Do Not Call list and to not to call you again. In that case, Caramel must honor the request not to call. If you make an inquiry, set up an account, or apply to do business with Caramel, we are permitted to call you for three months. Once again, if you make a specific request to for us to not call you in the future, Caramel, except as required by state or federal law, will not call you, even if we have an established business relationship with you.
All employees will receive TCPA training, as appropriate to their job function. Caramel’s Compliance Department will be responsible for ensuring that new hires are trained as needed, and that periodic and recurring training is conducted for all employees as appropriate. Caramel may require that all relevant Service Providers implement similar training and audit personnel completion of such training.
Federal Do Not Call Registry.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a free service to consumers that allow them to place their residential phone number on a National Do Not Call Registry. This service will reduce the number of telemarketing calls received. Consumers may add their residential phone number to the list either by calling 888-382-1222 or through the internet at www.donotcall.gov. It may take several weeks before they notice a reduction in calls
Caramel legal Counsel will review the Policy annually to ensure that it remains current (taking into consideration, at a minimum, changes and developments in Laws, changes and developments in Caramel’s operations, industry best practices, audit/testing results, complaint data, and a study/analysis of exceptions).
Caramel respects the privacy of all our customers, and we strive to provide the best possible customer service. If you feel that you have been contacted in violation of this policy or applicable Federal or State law, then please contact us immediately at @drivecaramel.com.