Genesys Cloud support of toll-free messaging verification for the United States and Canada
Historically we have had the ability to purchase, text-enable, and make US & Canada toll-free Numbers (TFNs) ready for messaging in minutes. Because of this ease, TFNs have become a fantastic option for business to consumer text messaging.
The downside to this ability is that TFNs have gone unpoliced. The result is a lack of the same type of controls focused on consumer protection that have long been in place for short codes and more recently with 10-Digit Long code. The wireless carriers want to ensure that their subscribers are only receiving text messages they consented to receive. To achieve this goal, carriers are now requiring all TFNs and their corresponding use cases to be verified. The key dates:
- May 15, 2022: After this date, any newly purchased TFNs must be verified before being permitted for use in messaging.
- September 30, 2022: The deadline to verify any existing TFN purchased and provisioned before the May 15, 2022, milestone. Failure to complete verification results in message blocking.
- October 1, 2022: Any unverified TFNs will be blocked until verification is complete.
What is toll-free verification?
Toll-free messaging verification just means that your use case has been reviewed and deemed to be compliant before the TFN is approved for messaging.
In what countries and what carriers does this verification apply?
This verification affects messaging in the US and Canada on all wireless carrier networks.
After May 15 will I still be able to purchase toll-free numbers?
Yes, but with a different approach depending on the platform in use.
In the Admin UI you are able to purchase TFNs; however, there are two important items to note:
- Upon purchase, you receive a notification referring you to the requirement for registration information, along with a copy of this FAQ.
- The TFN will be listed in your SMS Number Inventory in a Pending status.
Once the TFN is verified, the status will change to Active indicating it is ready for use.
Purchase the TFN as you typically would. Given no supporting UI to the SMS aggregation service, you will not see similar statuses. Follow the process as outlined in the next question.
What is the toll-free messaging verification process?
To begin the process, request the toll-free verification form and complete it fully. Upon completion, send it and any attachments to GenesysCloudSMS@genesys.com. Genesys will conduct an initial review and provide feedback if any clarification or additional information is required.
When all information appears accurate, we submit it for carrier approval. The carriers may require additional information to gain approval. We will help facilitate the process until we gain approval.
What information must be provided?
The verification requirements focus on three key areas:
- The company using the TFN for messaging.
- The use case for the TFNs.
- How you obtain consent.
For more information, see Required regulatory documentation for SMS long code number purchase.
Why is consent and opt-in required now?
Realistically, obtaining an individual’s consent to send text messages to their device has always been a requirement; however, it is only now that it is being enforced on TFNs. Obtaining consent including providing evidence of how you are obtaining consent is paramount to gaining approval.
How do I verify multiple toll-free numbers?
If the use case and opt-in method are the same for all TFNs, you can include all TFNs on the same form. If there are different use cases with different opt-in methods, these need to be broken out to a separate form.
How long does the toll-free messaging verification process take?
If you have submitted all required documentation, you can expect the verification process to take 3-4 weeks. This time could be extended if additional information is required to gain carrier approvals.
How will I know when my toll-free number is verified?
Genesys will help manage the process on your behalf. When your TFNs are verified, they will become Active in the Genesys Cloud SMS Number Inventory.
What does verifying a toll-free number cost?
Presently there are no associated costs.
Does verifying my toll-free number mean I won’t have blocking issues?
No. While completing the verification process should prevent most blocking issues, the TFN is not completely allow listed on carrier networks. The carriers monitor for other behaviors such as percentage of opt-outs (customers who sent STOP), percentage of customer complaints, and percentage of bad numbers. The carriers do not advertise what these thresholds are but triggering any of these metrics could result in message blocking.
What happens if my TFN gets blocked?
Submit a ticket to your Care organization to start the process to remove the block. The time it takes to remove the block can vary depending on the reason for the block. If it was blocked for spam, we will need to work with you to improve your message content. If it was blocked for percentage of opt-outs, it may be worth revisiting the program’s intent. If it was blocked for a percentage of complaints, this is usually a concern about consent not being given and we will need to explore opt-in methods. Lastly, if it is blocked for a percentage of bad numbers, you must improve the quality of your contact list. It can take at least 2–3 business days to remove a block, which, increases the importance of maintaining a compliant program.
Are all use cases permitted?
No. The carriers are pushing back against a number of use cases they deem to be high risk to their subscribers. For more information, see SMS best practices for a compliant program.
Is voice on toll-free numbers impacted by this change?
As a reminder, text messaging using TFNs operates independently of voice messaging. So, if you do not verify your TFN, there is no impact to your voice messaging.
Have other questions?
If you have any questions not covered in the FAQ, send them to GenesysCloudSMS@genesys.com.
|May 11, 2022||Article/FAQ created.|