1. Update to T-Mobile traffic violation fines
T-Mobile just notified Vonage that they will be implementing a new set of non-compliance fines for messaging traffic violations on all mobile channels that transverse their network (SMS and MMS Short Codes, Toll-Free Numbers and 10DLC).
Those new fines will start being applied from January 1st, 2024.
The non-compliance fine(s) will be assessed for every Sev-0 violation issued as per the following tier system:
Tier 1: $2000 USD
For phishing, smishing, social engineering.
- Tier 2: $1000 USD
For illegal content (content Must be legal in all 50 states, as well as federally)
- Tier 3: $500 USD
For all other violations (including, but not limited to SHAFT).
Please find below some additional definitions that can assist you understand what the terminology means:
Means all techniques aimed at getting a target to reveal specific information or performing a specific action for illegitimate reasons. Examples include but not limited to phishing, smishing, and pretexting purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
Refers to any content that is not legal in all 50 states and federally. This list is outlined in the T-Mobile Code of Conduct section 5.1 "Unlawful, Unapproved or Illicit Content" (however not limited to) includes Cannabis, Marijuana, Adult Solicitation.
5.1 Unlawful, Unapproved, or Illicit Content
No messaging programs can run on the T-Mobile network that may promote unlawful, unapproved, or illicit content, including but not limited to:
- Fraudulent or misleading messages
- Depictions or endorsements of violence
- Inappropriate content
- Profanity or hate speech
- Endorsement of illegal drugs
Programs must operate according to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. In addition, the content must be legal across all 50 states. All content must be appropriate for the intended audience. Additional legal and ethical obligations apply when marketing to children under age 13, and such programs might be subject to additional review by T-Mobile.
"All Other Violations"
Refers to Subsection 5.7 of the T-Mobile Code of Conduct, which outlines, but is not limited to "Age Gating"
5.7 Age Gating
T-Mobile may, at its discretion and at any time, suspend, terminate, or not Approve any Messaging Program it feels does not promote a legal, age-appropriate, or positive customer experience. All content must adhere to all applicable laws and support a functioning age gate when associated with but not limited to Sex, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and/or any other age-restricted content that must comply with legal regulations. Nonacceptable age gating function includes but is not limited to Yes or No responses. The age-gate mechanism should include the date of birth verification during the consent opt-in of the consumer.
Note that if T-Mobile determines that a Violation continues and is excessive during the Term of the Agreement, T-Mobile reserves the right to permanently suspend brand, campaigns, and or Company’s access to the T-Mobile Network or the Company Connection.
2. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Will Vonage contact me (a Vonage customer) to notify me of a violation and allow me to remediate before being fined?
In the event of a violations, Vonage will be alerted of the incident by the T-Mobile. We will notify our customer accordingly, providing information relative to the infraction and the corresponding fine.
We do not expect T-Mobile to allow appeals regarding traffic violation fines.
Please reach out to our support team or your account manager for further information.
Who will alert me if there is a violation?
Customers can expect to be notified of violations and their corresponding fines by our Fraud & Operations teams. Managed accounts will be notified by their account manager directly. Please note that our fraud teams will investigate every sev-0 violation.
Will the charge appear on my next invoice, and if so, will it identify the sub api key and reseller client (if applicable)?
Fines will usually be applied one (1) month in arrears. Please reach out to our support team or your account manager for further information.
Can I appeal fines related to the traffic not matching the registered 10DLC campaign use case, if Vonage and the carriers had already reviewed and approved my campaign?
Example: A vaping company using SMS for shipping notifications or customer service
In specific circumstances, Vonage will try to appeal the violation. Customers should however expect that if an incident is considered against the rules, the appeal will probably be rejected and the fine remain.
As a reseller customer, will I be able to terminate my traffic without a fine?
No, once a violation has occurred, there will be a fine associated with it.
Are there filters in place so that Vonage can proactively inform me if traffic violations are occurring?
Vonage has traffic monitoring mechanisms in place. However, we encourage our customers to monitor their own network content for compliance.