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Is Dialer Technology to Blame in Recent Caribbean Cruise Line Case?

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January 28, 2013

Is Dialer Technology to Blame in Recent Caribbean Cruise Line Case?

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Both predictive and auto dialers are commonly used in campaigns looking to contact a large amount of people in a very short period of time. While these technological innovations can slash costs while simultaneously drive efficiency, there are numerous laws governing the use of these products that must be adhered to at all times. In certain cases, companies disregard these strict mandates only to find themselves facing harsh fines or even worse, having to deal with a lawsuit.

It looks like this is exactly what happened recently when the Caribbean Cruise Line as well as the Economic Strategy Group were brought to court, facing allegations that claimed “the defendants made or caused unsolicited calls on their cellular phones using auto-dialing technology or artificial or prerecorded voices, in violation of TCPA,” according to a recent article featured on Lexology. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has continued to evolve with the times, and just last year, it was revised to encompass laws to protect consumers against receiving an overwhelming amount of robocalls on their cell phones.

In the suit, proponents alleged that they received multiple calls that were said to be made in regards to a political survey, when really, the “survey” was nothing more than a ruse to get people to book a cruise. Defendants are now denying these viscous accusations, attempting in three ways to get this case dismissed.

The article added, “First, defendants argued that plaintiffs failed to distinguish the role played by each defendant in the alleged calls. The claim that the companies ‘acted in concert’ was sufficient to dismiss this concern, according to the court. Second, defendants claimed that liability under TCPA can only attach to the party that actually placed the call. On the contrary, the court stated that Congress would not intend to allow a seller of a product or service to insulate itself from liability by hiring a third party to make calls in violation of TCPA. Third, defendants argued that the FCC (News - Alert) has exempted political surveys from coverage under TCPA.”

 When looking more closely at the third notion, a federal judge referred to this item as a "non-starter," basically meaning that it was unlawful for the supposed survey to be conducted using a dialer that powers any type of prerecorded voice.

While it is still too early to see who will ultimately win this likely expensive and time-intensive lawsuit, it is key that businesses remain informed and up-to-date on what constitutes compliance with the TCPA.

One company that sees this as a priority is SpitFire, a Texas-based team that always remains at the forefront of highly flexible and easy to use call center products. In fact, its Enterprise Predictive Dialer powers algorithms that can automatically ramp up and slow down the number of calls made in a set period of time based on variables such as the number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign's average call time and other statistical information. Campaign settings can be personalized in order to adhere to regulations according to each state in addition to federal.

“Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center,” company officials added.

Although selecting the best dialer for your individual needs is crucial to the future success of your firm, ensuring that you are following the rules within this space is just as important if not more so. Hey, even with the best product in hand, if you are constantly being sued and forking over fines, it is likely you won’t remain in business for very long.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Technology Marketing Corporation

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