Country-Specific SMS Guidelines #

Last updated: October 1, 2021

Disclaimer: These Country-Specific SMS Guidelines are for information only and are not intended and should not be relied on as legal or compliance advice. YakChat strongly encourages customers to review their proposed use cases with qualified legal counsel to ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained here has been obtained from reliable sources, YakChat is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. 

Australia #

YakChat strongly encourages customers to review proposed use cases with qualified legal counsel to ensure they comply with all applicable laws.

Gambling Related Content:

Sending gambling related content is strictly prohibited in Australia.

Unsolicited Communication:

All commercial electronic messages sent to an electronic address in Australia are beholden to the SPAM Act (2003). It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with this legislation and ensure your compliance; the key rules relating to this can be found at https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/spam-industry-obligations and below:

Permission (Consent):

Messages can only be sent with the permission of the person who owns the account for the address (usually the recipient).

Identification:

Messages must contain the name and contact details of the person or business that authorized the message (sender identification).

Unsubscribe:

Messages must contain a low (or no cost) way for the recipient to stop getting messages (to ‘opt out’ or unsubscribe).

Some General Best Practices:

1.  Messages must contain a low (or no cost) way for the recipient to stop getting messages (to ‘opt out’ or unsubscribe).

2.  Get opt-in consent from each end user before sending any communication to them, particularly for marketing or other non-essential communications.

3.  SMS campaigns should support HELP/STOP messages, and similar messages, in the end user’s local language.

4.  Do not contact end users on do-not-call or do-not-disturb registries.

Canada #

YakChat strongly encourages customers to review proposed use cases with qualified legal counsel to ensure they comply with all applicable laws.

General Content Restrictions:

Sending gambling related content is strictly prohibited in Australia.

Unsolicited Communication:

For services or applications involving, but not limited to, alcohol, tobacco, and adult content, your program must verify that each end-user is of legal age in his/her province or territory of residence, prior to allowing them to participate in the program or receive a text message from your service. These programs should not be marketed to individuals under the legal age.

Some General Best Practices:

1.  Messages must contain a low (or no cost) way for the recipient to stop getting messages (to ‘opt out’ or unsubscribe).

2.  Get opt-in consent from each end user before sending any communication to them, particularly for marketing or other non-essential communications.

3.  SMS campaigns should support HELP/STOP messages, and similar messages, in the end user’s local language.

4.  Do not contact end users on do-not-call or do-not-disturb registries.

United Kingdom #

YakChat strongly encourages customers to review proposed use cases with qualified legal counsel to ensure they comply with all applicable laws.

SMS Text Messaging in the UK:

SMS text messaging in the United Kingdom is highly regulated.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) which provide guidelines to the regulations governing the unsolicited text marketing messaging in the UK for commercial, charity or political purposes. PECR builds on the strict data protection legislation that is in place relating to the use of personal data. The recently amended Data Protection Act (2018) sets out the protection of consumer data when processed via electronic channels.

Permission (Consent):

Organisations must not send marketing texts to individuals without their specific, valid and prior explicit consent. This consent must be recorded and kept as proof of consent. There is a limited exception for previous customers, which is known as the soft opt-in. A soft-opt in only applies if the organisation have obtained the contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sales) of a product or service to the customer; they are only marketing their own similar products or services; and they gave the customer an opportunity to opt-out of the marketing, both when first collecting the details and in every message thereafter.

Privacy and Data Protection

Consumers have the right not to receive unsolicited marketing communications via SMS and must be informed of how their personal data is to be processed by an organisation. An organisation will also needs consent to pass customer details on to another organisation.

Message Content:

The content of marketing messages must be appropriate to the intended audience and will not be likely to offend, upset or harm, etc, any recipient of the message, whether deliberately or otherwise. In this regard, you must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards that apply to the marketing to children.

Unsubscribe:

Organisations must stop sending marketing messages to any person who objects or opts out from receiving them. The universally recognised method of opting out from receiving marketing communications via SMS is for a consumer to send STOP to a message they received. You also need to honour an opt-out request via other channels you can be contacted on, for example, via email or telephonically. A STOP confirmation message must be sent to the consumer to confirm the opt-out. This message should include the name of your company and the following words: “You have opted out. You will not receive additional messages”. Records of opt-out communications need to be kept.

SMS to Landlines:

SMS-to-voice functionality is in widespread use in the UK. Consequently,  YakChat’s SMS service provider will not reject messages sent to landlines. Please be aware, though, that even if SMS messages to landline numbers are not rejected, they  may not be delivered because the phone numbers themselves may not allow inbound messages to be received.

Some General Best Practices:

1.  Messages must contain a low (or no cost) way for the recipient to stop getting messages (to ‘opt out’ or unsubscribe).

2.  Get opt-in consent from each end user before sending any communication to them, particularly for marketing or other non-essential communications.

3.  SMS campaigns should support HELP/STOP messages, and similar messages, in the end user’s local language.

4.  Do not contact end users on do-not-call or do-not-disturb registries.

United States of America #

YakChat strongly encourages customers to review proposed use cases with qualified legal counsel to ensure they comply with all applicable laws.

SMS Text Messaging in the U.S.A.:

All SMS messaging in The United States of America is governed by the CTIA – The Wireless Association. Strict rules are in place to regulate USA messaging, and it’s important to ensure your program is compliant with the latest regulations at all times.

Unsubscribe:

Marketing SMS text messages must contain an opt-out option.

Two-way numbers are mandatory. This is to ensure that people can unsubscribe.

Message Content:

Harmful content is not allowed.

URLs have a high probability of being blocked.

Recipients need to consent to receive marketing communication in writing (i.e. email or other) before you start sending marketing messages to them.

The symbol for Euro (€) is not supported. 

The euro symbol (€) is not supported; avoid using this character in message submission toward the United States. Avoid using this character in message submission toward the United States.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Notifications:

Call to action must include in the terms and conditions that the messaging program includes shopping cart reminders.

Shopping cart messaging programs must incorporate double opt in via text messaging.

  • The double opt in must clearly inform the recipient that the messaging program includes shopping cart reminders.

The privacy policy must explicitly state how the information is gathered when making the determination that there has been a shopping cart abandoned.

  • Terms and conditions must reflect the privacy policy updates.

Abandoned shopping cart notifications must be sent within 48 hours of the cart being abandoned.

Only one notification may be sent per abandoned shopping cart instance.

The purchase, or approval to purchase can not be completed via the text message, and must be completed via a link to the e-commerce site where the abandoned cart instance occurred.

10DLC or Short Code campaign submissions must be filed as “Account Information”, with a detailed description that highlights it is a messaging program that will include abandoned shopping cart notifications.

Symbols:

The euro symbol (€) is not supported; 

Some General Best Practices:

1.  Messages must contain a low (or no cost) way for the recipient to stop getting messages (to ‘opt out’ or unsubscribe).

2.  Get opt-in consent from each end user before sending any communication to them, particularly for marketing or other non-essential communications.

3.  SMS campaigns should support HELP/STOP messages, and similar messages, in the end user’s local language.

4.  Do not contact end users on do-not-call or do-not-disturb registries.

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