SMS Usage Limitation Notice/ SHAFT

SMS Usage Limitation Notice

SMS is a highly regulated channel, subject to stringent rules, regulations, and carrier requirements. Prohibited content in SMS and MMS messages can result in rejection by wireless carriers. 

Your business should be aware of the following prohibited content categories, and SMS may not be the appropriate channel for certain use cases.

SMS Prohibited Content:

  • High-risk financial services:
    • Examples: Payday loans, short-term high-interest loans, third-party auto loans, cryptocurrency.
    • Note: Messages featuring financial investment advice, tips, or links to donation sites are prohibited.
  • Third-party lead generation services:
    • Companies buying, selling, or sharing consumer information are strictly prohibited. "Cold" outreach is also not allowed.
  • Debt collection or forgiveness:
    • Examples: Third-party debt collection, debt consolidation, credit repair programs.
    • Note: Debt consolidation and forgiveness efforts are generally prohibited, but businesses owed the debt can send payment reminders.
  • "Get rich quick" schemes or Multi-level marketing:
    • Examples: Work-from-home programs, risk investment opportunities, multi-level marketing.
    • Note: Multi-level marketing products, services, or content associated with spam are prohibited.
  • Illegal substances:
    • Examples: Marijuana/cannabis, CBD/THC, prescription drugs, vaping.
    • Note: Cannabis businesses cannot use SMS/MMS messaging in the US, and messaging related to CBD may be restricted.
  • Gambling:
    • Examples: Casino apps, gambling websites.
    • Note: Gambling traffic is prohibited on Toll-Free but allowed on Short Code or Long Code with age gating procedures.
  • S.H.A.F.T. use cases:
    • Sexually inappropriate content, hate speech or profanity, alcohol, firearms, tobacco (including vaping).
    • Note: Firearms and alcohol are allowed on Toll-Free, Short Code, and Long Code with age gating procedures.

SHAFT is an acronym highlighting forbidden or specially regulated content:

  • S: Sexually inappropriate content
  • H: Hate speech or profanity
  • A: Alcohol
  • F: Firearms and depictions or endorsements of violence
  • T: Tobacco (including vaping) or endorsement of illegal or illicit drugs, including marijuana and cannabis

Note: This information is not legal advice. Consult with legal counsel to ensure SMS programs comply with applicable laws.