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What improvements come with the new texting platform?
Call-Em-All is excited to announce several major improvements in our text messaging service. Text messaging continues to grow very quickly and the industry is changing just as fast to keep up. Call-Em-All intends to stay at the forefront of these changes, while carefully ensuring our products are professional, dependable, and compliant.
Changes to texting service include:
- No longer require handset-based opt-in prior to sending text messages. Naturally, you must have proper consent before texting, but it does not have to be initiated from the handset.
- Eventually, all clients will migrate from the shared short code 292929 to dedicated, toll-free texting number(s).
- Text conversations, or 1-to-1 texting, will be built into the service. Conversations can be initiated by clients at any time, whether in response to a text broadcast or by sending or receiving texts to/from a single person via the Call-Em-All website.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhy is texting moving to toll-free numbers instead of the 292929 short-code?
Using an 8XX number is a new option in the fast-changing messaging industry. This option will give Call-Em-All’s customers more functionality while allowing each client to have dedicated numbers for messaging. With the 8XX number, you can do everything you did with 292929 and more!
For example, with dedicated telephone numbers, you will also have the ability to have text “conversations” with subscribers if you want to. If your company has existing 8XX numbers used for voice, you can now use those numbers for text messaging!
User opt-in by texting a keyword was previously required. No this is not required. What changed?
The text messaging industry is maturing. Texting started with person-to-person messaging, expanded into marketing, and now we see how text messaging can be helpful for almost every organization. As uses for text messaging have expanded, it isn’t surprising that laws have sometimes struggled to keep up.
The FCC, and our court system, have now clearly established that text messages are to be treated with essentially the same rules and regulations as phone calls – including the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). Recently, the FCC has issued several Declaratory Rulings, each of which, make very clear that their rules on consent apply to both phone calls and automated text messages. While messaging rules continue to evolve, we are finally at a point where Call-Em-All and our legal counsel are confident in our decision to support customers that use multiple means of obtaining consent to initiate messages.
We take seriously our responsibility to provide a professional and compliant solution, so we have been conservative in our approach. That said, the FCC’s rulings over the past 18 months clearly indicate that it is time to allow our clients to obtain consent any lawful means they see fit, including through handset opt-in.
What is "consent"? Can I send messages to anyone I want?
For starters, Call-Em-All will not allow you to send political or telemarketing (e.g., promotional) messages. We’re serious. If you want to send political or telemarketing messages – don’t try it with Call-Em-All. Doing so violates our Terms of Service.
As long as you have proper consent, yes, you can send messages to anyone. Consent varies depending upon the type of messages you are sending:
- Emergency Messages: Under the rules, you can send emergency messages (like a utility outage or weather emergency) to anyone.
- Informational Messages: The subscriber’s release of their telephone to you provides consent for messages. For example, if you supply your number while applying for a job, you are consenting to messages related to your job. The same simple logic applies when giving your number to a school, church, employer, or business you work with – they can send you informational messages related to the organization.
- Collection Messages: Many clients use Call-Em-All for friendly collection reminders and service interruption warnings to your existing customers. These type of messages fall under the same category as Informational Messages. But, when an account has been cancelled and/or third party debt collectors get involved – it gets more complicated, and we don’t want any part of it.
- Telemarketing Messages: The rules are different with marketing messages. But, since you know that Call-Em-All doesn’t allow our service to be used for these – we don’t need to get into it! Consent can get tricky, so we always recommend that you speak to a knowledgeable person before sending messages to make sure you’re following the rules.
This functionality will not be in the first phase of our new platform. If you would like us to add this feature, please just let us know. If we build it, there is an added bonus: Because you will have your own 8XX number, you will be able to use any keywords you like without first checking to see if another client was already using it.
What if a subscriber wants to stop receiving messages from me?
Call-Em-All will continue to honor “stop” requests from your subscribers. If a subscriber texts stop to your 8XX number, they will not receive any messages unless they provide new consent. You should also note that under the rules, consumers can use any “reasonable means” of withdrawing their consent, so you should be mindful of methods consumers might use to revoke consent to send the messages.
What should I do if additional questions come up?
You should feel free to contact Call-Em-All, and we will help you as best we can. You should also get advice from a knowledgeable compliance professional to ensure that the specific text messages that you want to send fully comply with all legal requirements.
How can I get started?
Our Customer Experience team would be happy to enable your account - it only takes minutes! Reach out to us by calling 877-226-3080 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be enabled for this feature.
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