Coming October 16, call centers and any others that attempt to dial someone for a sales pitch, will require prior written consent to reach out. That includes all autodialed and/or pre-recorded calls or texts sent or made to cell phones, and pre-recorded calls made to residential land lines for marketing purposes.
It’s all because of an update to the TCPA. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was originally passed into law in 1991, empowering the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules and regulations for the industry. Among other things, the TCPA allows individuals to file lawsuits and collect damages for receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls, faxes, pre-recorded calls or autodialed calls. Now the regulations are being tightened even further.
Is your company ready for this looming change? It’s going to have a huge impact on telemarketers and their related businesses. Even prior to this change in law, class-action lawsuits have cost companies millions of dollars in recent years and there is no shortage of controversies and confusion regarding the shifting regulatory landscape
Is there any hope? Indeed, there is. A recent piece in the “Collection Advisor” newsletter offered some simple tips:
- All creditors, including healthcare providers, government agencies, utility and cellular phone companies, should update their application forms to include appropriate disclosure and consent provisions regarding their right, and the rights of any agents or debt buyers, to communicate with the consumer on their cell phone about payment obligations.
- Debt collectors should work with their clients to establish a system to segregate cell phone from land line numbers, which are transferred to the debt collector only if the creditor will warrant it obtained the cell phone number directly from the consumer.
- Debt collectors and subsequent purchasers should scrub all telephone numbers associated with the account to determine whether the numbers are cell phone numbers and remove them from autodialer campaigns.
That covers some of the points, but tomorrow, Sept. 24 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), CallMiner (News - Alert), a cloud-based conversational analytics solution provider for improving agent performance across all contact channels, will be hosting a webinar titled, “Understanding and Responding to TCPA changes.” Jeff Herz, director of Internal Operations and Compliance at CUnet, and Scott Kendrick, vice president of Marketing and Product Management at CallMiner, will discuss the TCPA updates, the importance of transparency and quality monitoring in the call center, and how CUnet has provided value to its customers using speech analytics.
Any company that uses an auto-dialer in its business, or reaches out to consumers in any way, should join this discussion.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi