Technology such as a predictive dialer goes together with a modern day call center just like peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and marinara sauce—one without the other just isn’t as good. However, with an overwhelming amount of rules governing the contact center space that are continuously being altered, how can you be sure your dialer isn’t violating any of these newly enacted laws that could tarnish your company’s reputation? The first step would be to purchase a predictive dialer that boasts campaigns settings that is designed to comply with state and federal regulations.
If you complete the initial phase mentioned above prior to powering an array of calls, you will be safeguarding your company from being forced to hand over money to pay expensive fines that could virtually strip your budget. But if you decide to instead leverage a predictive dialer that lacks this crucial functionality, you could be hearing shortly from the FTC (News - Alert), otherwise known as the Federal Trade Commission, which is now requesting assistance in putting an end to illegal robocalls once and for all.
Being forced to deal with nearly 200,000 complaints per month pertaining to frustrated consumers being forced to deal with prerecorded messages from unwanted telemarketing calls that are sometimes received during inconvenient times, the agency is officially putting both its feet down and doing its best to stop these calls from taking place at all.
"All of us have heard this [robocalls] so many times that it's like nails on a chalkboard for us," said David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement."These calls are not like the calls we grew up with. They are computer-blasted calls that are enabled by the Internet. The dialers are outside the U.S. generally, and these dialers are capable of blasting out an unfathomable number of telephone calls."
Not only can these calls be extremely irritating for someone just about to sit down to dinner with their family after a long work day and multiple hour commute, Vladeck reveals that some of these calls made are for less than obvious purposes, and are actually meant to deceive individuals into falling for various types of scams.
While the FTC does what it can to protect the public from these expensive pranks, although it has many benefits, VoIP has brought with it some disadvantages which stem from the fact that it is being leveraged to reach a wider audience from offshore locations with not so noble intentions.
After seeing a growing number of people being taken advantage of who are already struggling in this still rebounding economy, the FTC decided it needed to form a plan. So form a plan it did and is now offering $50,000 to either the individual or small company that can come up with the solution needed to help consumers or telecoms to block all unwanted robocalls. Not surprisingly, many companies and individuals have already thrown their hat into the contest ring, and thus far, there have already been 200 submissions received including one from Shawn Davis, an IT technician in Boise, Idaho.
Davis invented Roboblock 12, touted as a number verification system that mandates callers to enter randomly generated numbers which will then add them to the block list. Another participant in this contest, Naomi Walls of Aurora, Colo designed an offering that can automatically turn the ringer off and recording a message that says, "You have reached the Walls residence. Due to the number of robocalls I'm receiving, I've turned off my phone so that it won't ring."
While the deadline for submissions is rapidly approaching and will be here on Jan. 17, this drawing will likely entice technology savvy people to develop a product needed to enable consumers to select when to stop being contacted for things they aren’t even interested in.
Moreover, it seems as if it isn’t only the FTC taking a stand against these invasions of privacy as back in September a 71-year-old woman named Nancy Iniguez in California took legal action with a group of other plaintiffs against satellite television provider Dish Network when the company continuously made robocalls to their mobile phones. This action goes directly against rules outlined by the Telephone Consumer Protect Act. Dish Network denies these allegations and currently faces fines upwards of $500 for each illegal robocall made plus $1,500 for each call that was powered after Iniguez told the business what was occurring and it failed to take action.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo