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How the Predictive Dialer Protects Against TCPA Challenges

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April 09, 2014

How the Predictive Dialer Protects Against TCPA Challenges

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

No one likes wasted time, least of all the contact center. Agents on the clock have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time and often rely on the predictive dialer to eliminate manual dialing and better connect with live contacts. Of course a number of different consumer regulations make it more difficult to use technology in the contact center space, especially where mobile numbers are concerned.

The industry and consumers alike accept the fact that consumers don’t want unsolicited calls on their mobile phones. This is especially true when the consumer has to pay for every minute they are on a live call. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) ensures that this won’t happen unless the consumer grants permission in writing – do they need additional clarification?

One commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) believes that additional clarification is needed. Michael O’Reilly wrote in a March 25 blog that clarification is needed as TCPA lawsuits have increased by more than 30 percent in the last year. Several more petitions are submitted to the FCC as individuals seek clarification on the matter. O’Reilly believes the FCC needs to take a hard look at its own precedent as it may have contributed to enlarging the scope of TCPA violations.

Good for Companies

This is good news for those on the other side of the issue, those companies that are facing lawsuits simply because they made a call. Yes, the company has the obligation to understand the rules and regulations within its industry and abide by those guidelines, but lawsuits come out of an assumption the guidelines weren’t followed, not necessarily proof of the proposed violation. The news is definitely catching the attention of those in the debt collection and other industries as clarification could help reduce the number of lawsuits.

Consumers Advocates Cry Foul

On the consumer side, however, there is concern that clarification could simply limit the scope of the TCPA so that it is less useful in providing the necessary protection for consumers. While the Act was initially put in place to limit calls to homes, it has expanded over the years to cover technology developments such as text messages, robocalls, junk faxes and calls placed to mobile numbers.

Consumers still want protection, but at what point is it too much?

As the FCC works this one out, contact centers will have to continue to abide by the current rules. Those with a predictive dialer in place are already well prepared. Companies like SpitFire provide such dialers with the technology already in place to abide by TCPA guidelines. Therefore, not only will calls be placed legally, the contact center can also eliminated wasted calls so its agents can focus on productivity. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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