To meet the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 customers must be able to opt out of text message communication with no cost.
To meet this requirement the customer replying won’t be charged for their replies.
This means pharmacies will be charged 12c per customer reply for all messages (including opting out)
Texting Guidelines and Changes
Texting remains one of the best ways to engage with your customers. Over the past few years texting scams and spam have become increasingly prevalent. To combat this, New Zealand telecommunication providers are continuing to improve the standards.
We've prepared this helpful guide to assist pharmacies when sending text messages.
Transactional Messages vs Promotional Messages
One of the most important things to understand is what kind of message you are sending as there are different requirements for each message type.
These are the types of messages you would send to patients to inform them about their prescription. As an example, following the processing of a prescription the patient may be sent a ready now message from Toniq to let them know to pick up their prescription, or a repeat reminder when repeat medicine is available for collection. Please note: you should never include medicine names or other confidential information when sending text messages.
Promotional or Marketing Messages
These are messages where you promote specials and club days. Marketing messages have stricter rules and include the following requirements:
- You can only send marketing texts to customers who have explicitly consented to receive marketing text messages from your pharmacy.
- You must explain the terms of the marketing campaign to the user before opting in.
- You need to keep a record of consent.
- You must identify yourself accurately.
Toniq helps with compliance of marketing text messages by doing the following:
- Defaulting customers to have “no texts” set. You can unset this at any time however you must have explicit, recorded consent to do so.
- Ensure that the pharmacy name is prefixed to every message you send.
- As part of the compliance process, it is a requirement to add “via Toniq” for marketing messages to ensure the telcos are aware of the sending system, and to reduce the possibility of messages getting flagged as spam.
It is up to you how you wish to capture consent; however, we've attached a quick consent form at the bottom of this article to download, print and use to capture customer consent.
Please see the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) factsheet on sending marketing messages: https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/Files/Spam-Resources/$file/Fact-Sheet-Unsolicited-Electronic-Messages-Act-2007.pdf
Opt Out and Text Replies
Customers must be able to opt out of text message communication with no charge. To meet this requirement the customer replying won’t be charged for their replies. As a result, pharmacies will be charged 12c per customer reply.
Toniq allows patients to opt out of transactional or promotional messages independently by ticking the appropriate “no text” box in Dispensary and Retail. The texting replies screen will assist you by automatically setting the “no text” option if they reply to a message with “stop” or “optout”. If the user responds with a non-standard opt-out message (possibly including expletives), you must set the “no text” option manually.
This guide is a quick overview of key points on how to ensure you are compliant with the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 and compiled from the below resources. It is not a comprehensive guide. For full guidance, please refer to the resources below.
Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2007/0007/latest/DLM405134.html
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)