FAQ: Text message re-opt-in - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

FAQ: Text message re-opt-in

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What's happening: On Monday and Tuesday, we are asking all of our text message subscribers to re-opt-in to the services for which they've subscribed. We're doing this to comply with federal consumer protection law. Those services may include breaking news alerts, severe weather alerts, daily forecasts, breaking news alerts, programming announcements, mobile marketing clubs or advertiser text clubs. On Monday and Tuesday those subscribers will get text messages asking them to respond, to keep those text messages coming. If they don't respond, they will no longer receive our text messages.

Question: What's the law that's causing all of this?

The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA.) It was originally designed to protect consumers from telemarketers. A new provision, effective October 16th, requires SMS programs to obtain "express written consent" from consumers before sending a text message, which includes two new disclosures:

  1. Text messages are sent from an automated system.
  2. Consent is not required to buy goods and services.

We're asking customers to re-opt in to comply with the law and to protect ourselves from potentially expensive legal action. Aside from adding these provisions to our compliance language, our text programs will not change.

Question: I received several messages from you on Monday and Tuesday, asking me to respond. Do I need to respond to all of them?

Yes. If you've signed up for any of our news, weather and programming alerts, you will need to respond to a single message on Monday. That message will look like this:

WVVA: Keep our text alerts coming. To comply w/ new law, Reply OK to accept msgs from an autodialed system. Consent not required for purchase. STOP=stop, HELP=help

Doing so will cover you for all of those alerts. If you subscribe to our mobile marketing club and/or advertiser clubs you will get additional messages on Tuesday. You will need to reply to those as well to remain in those clubs. In all cases you will have 24 hours to respond.

Question: What happens if I don't respond to the messages?

You will no longer receive text messages from us. You can sign up again to re-start those messages. The sign-up page is under the mobile tab on our website.

Question: Will your text message service change as a result of this?

No. With the exception that we're asking people to agree to two new disclosures, nothing will change. Our text message services will remain fast and free, meaning that we don't charge anything for the service, although standard carrier data rates may apply.

Question: I'm getting similar messages from other text messaging services for companies like Redbox, and Target. Is this related?

Yes. Companies across the country are having their customers re-opt-in to comply with the new law.

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