Many of us are familiar with those automated calls for a free trip to Aruba, to remind you to vote, or to ask you to contribute to a local charity. As a result, we have come to know the term for this type of call: “predictive dialing.”
The FCC (News - Alert), which is in charge of making decisions on what’s allowed and what’s not allowed in terms of predictive dialing, was one of the first agencies to come up with the idea of an opt-out service, letting users dial a number that would take them off any lists their names were sold to. Now, a new regulation has passed that comes with even newer FCC restrictions for call centers looking to use predictive dialing software.
Before the new regulations, the FCC passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which was passed back in 1991. It restricted telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment. It also limited the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or pre-recorded messages, text messages, and fax machines. All call centers also have to get written consent from the consumer when they used as predictive dialer. However, now with the new regulations in place, things seem a little muddy.
“There is a lack of clarity in the regulations in regards to the definition of the true meaning of a call center system that has the ability to store and dial mobile telephones,” said Gregg Troyanowski, president of Promerm, Inc. “There is still uncertainty about what exactly is permitted or not permitted and the industry is vigorously petitioning the FCC for clarity.”
Troyanowski said the best thing companies can do now is consult with legal counsel before making any decisions regarding their predictive dialing programs. With things still unclear, it’s best to check with a legal team before being fine for doing something against regulations.
At this time, the FCC has not announced any further information or clarity regarding its proposed changes.
Edited by Alisen Downey