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Q: In the US, what are the standard rules, regulations and/or guidelines for running SMS services?

 

A: All US carriers have adopted the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross-Carrier Mobile SMS Services. 

In addition, txtNation ensures that the USA SMS services that client’s run comply with these Guidelines due to a comprehensive Campaign Administration review and audit process of each USA SMS service that goes live.

At a minimum submitted programs should be run in a manner that is consistent with the letter and spirit of the MMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Marketing.

The Guidelines are available at:

http://www.mmaglobal.com/bestpractices.pdf

Each carrier may also have additional unique requirements that are informed via formal carrier news releases, or from rejections in the approval process that are then set as precedence for future applications. txtNation will then inform you of the adhoc carrier additions as part of the approval process or through newsletters if you are already live.

For example,  please see attached some specific Verizon audit requirements with visual demonstrations and indepth analysis procedures. Also a more recent requirement, whereever you have the price, list next to it also "Msg & Data Rates May Apply", and also ensure that all STOP and HELP information in your summary terms and full terms is in a bold font. 

Verizon Announcement: 

Programs that include any premium charges must disclose: (1) any premium charges associated with the program including whether any charges are recurring and (2) the nature of the program, including the type of content delivered to the consumer’s mobile device. This disclosure must be clear and conspicuous throughout all marketing materials including on-line, print, or television advertisements, throughout any Internet sites associated with the program, and throughout the opt-in process. 

For example, programs such as an on-line quiz that require a subscription to a premium charge program to obtain the results of the quiz must include proper disclosures in any advertisements, on each web page associated with the quiz, and during the opt-in process in order to make the consumer aware that the actual program being offered is a premium charge program rather than an on-line quiz. 

For programs, such as on-line quizzes, in which non-messaging content is offered to consumers as an inducement to participate in a premium charge program, or in cases where a single delivery of content (for example: survey results, quiz results) is promoted in order to induce a consumer to opt-in to a subscription-based program, content providers are required to: (1) disclose all affiliate marketing and websites within which the program will be advertised including keyword advertisements; (2) provide examples of the actual advertising used and/or text used in keyword advertisements; and (3) provide a fully operational website that details full consumer experience in conjunction with the program. 

 
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  • Avatar
    txtNation Support

    USA   

    Date of announcement: 18th September 2012

    Required time to make below changes: Applicable on code application 

    Verizon Wireless: New Submission Requirements and Process Updates/Reminders

    Effective immediately, Verizon Wireless has begun enforcing the following new submission requirements and processes.

    New Submission Requirements

    * Premium transactional and subscription programs must now be submitted separately to Verizon Wireless. Please ensure two application forms are submitted for programs that fall into this scenario.

    * Only one content URL can be submitted to Verizon Wireless in a single program submission. Content URLs are defined as the website(s) in which the end user views binary content such as ringtones or enters their MDN to initiate opt-in to a program. Please ensure one application form is created for each content URL utilized by a program and clearly explain the distinction in each order.

    * Each application must include a complete list of opt-in keywords along with any and all variations. It is recommended that programs with "free-form" text be set up to ensure the "free-form" text is submitted by the end user to obtain content after receiving opt-in confirmation.

    * For programs with an extensive opt-in keyword list, it may be necessary to separate the program into multiple submissions due to character limitations in Verizon Wireless's submission tool. Please talk to your Account Manager if you want to implement a program where this may be a concern.

    Process Updates and Reminders

    * REMINDER: Premium programs must be certified within 40 days of provisioning by Verizon Wireless. To ensure programs are not closed out, please submit your certification request to txtNation no later than 30 days after Verizon Wireless has provisioned your program to give txtNation ample time to test as well.

    * UPDATE: Resubmissions must be complete within 30 days of a Verizon Wireless rejection. To ensure that programs are not closed out, please submit your resubmission request to txtNation no later than 20 days after receiving a rejection to give txtNation ample time to review and ensure all rejections items have been addressed.

    Please contact your txtNation Manager or log a ticket at  http://clients.txtnation.com if you have any questions.

  • Avatar
    txtNation Support

    REFUND RATE THRESHOLD POLICY 

    This Refund Rate Threshold Policy applies to all short codes with 

    average revenue of $5000 or more per month, over the previous 3 months. 

    This policy will also apply to all campaigns managed by the content 

    provider and any entities affiliated with the content provider.

    * If a refund rate for a given short code falls between 5% and 

    7.99% for a single month, then all campaigns managed by the content 

    provider will be barred from acquiring new opt-ins from Verizon Wireless 

    customers for a period of 90 days.

    • This suspension will commence within 3 business days after 

      notice of the suspension is provided by Verizon Wireless

    • If any new opt-ins are accepted during the suspension, all 

      campaigns managed by the content provider will be terminated and all 

      Verizon Wireless customers will be unsubscribed from the campaigns

    * If a refund rate for a given short code used by a content 

    provider is 8% or higher for a single month, then all campaigns managed 

    by the content provider will be terminated and all Verizon Wireless 

    customers will be unsubscribed from the campaigns across all short codes 

    managed by the content provider and content provider affiliates.

    • The termination must be implemented within 3 business days 
      after notice of the termination is provided by Verizon Wireless

    REPEAT OFFENDER POLICY

    Functional monitoring and advertising enforcement:

    * If a campaign is found to have the same Severity 2 rule 

    violation in two consecutive months (e.g., in March and April), then all 

    campaigns managed by the content provider will be barred from acquiring 

    any new opt-ins by Verizon Wireless customers for a period of 90 days.

    • This suspension will commence within 3 business days after 

      notice of the suspension is provided by Verizon Wireless

    • If any new opt-ins are accepted during the suspension, all 

      campaigns managed by the content provider will be terminated and all 

      Verizon Wireless customers will be unsubscribed from the campaigns

    • This applies to campaigns managed by the content provider and 

      any entities affiliated with the content provider.

    * If a campaign is found to have the same Severity 2 rule 

    violation as described above during the 90-day penalty period, then all 

    campaigns managed by the content provider will be terminated and all 

    Verizon Wireless customers will be unsubscribed from the campaigns.

    * If the content provider is found to be in violation of this 

    policy two times in a 12-month period for the same Severity 2 rule 

    violation, then all campaigns managed by the content provider will be 

    terminated and all Verizon Wireless customers will be unsubscribed from 

    the campaigns.

    AFFLIATED RELATIONSHIPS

    Verizon Wireless will determine the affiliate relationships of a content 

    provider from all information available. These policies will be applied 

    across aggregators if a content provider or its affiliated relationships 

    use multiple aggregators.

  • Avatar
    txtNation

    US Cellular has joined the list of carriers that use WMC Global to issue audits. You will find a link to the CTIA Mobile Commerce Compliance Handbook in the document downloads section of their website at  http://www.wmcglobal.com/faq.html.

    For questions, you may email CTIA at  support.ctia@psmsindustrymonitor.com, or you may call the Support Desk at +1 (855) 272 8182 during normal business hours, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EDST, Monday through Friday.

    --

    CTIA Portal Support Team

    Support Desk Helpline: 1(855) 272-8182

    Available Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST

    CTIA FAQ:  http://www.wmcglobal.com/faq.html

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