Businesses that aren’t TCPA compliant run a high risk of being sued.
“TCPA litigation has consistently increased year-after-year. Between 2010 and 2016 there was a 1,273% increase in litigants; between 2015 and 2016 alone the total number of litigants increased 32%.”
Even though these statistics seem scary, there is a way businesses can improve their TCPA compliance to (hopefully) avoid litigation. In today’s post, we’ll detail 7 ways the right call center software can help businesses stay on the good side of regulators while increasing their productivity.
But first, let’s define TCPA.
What is TCPA?
TCPA stands for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and every updated version of the act since.
Here are the basics of TCPA:
TCPA was signed into law in 1991 and amended the Communications Act of 1934.
It restricts solicitations through phone (telemarketing) along with the use of automated phone equipment. Adding to that, in 2003, the FTC made the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce unwanted business calls to the general public.
And, more recently, the FCC released the TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order, which clarified the TCPA law and how it would be interpreted by the FCC.
Here are some of the key TCPA regulations:
- Telemarketers can’t use automatic dialers to contact wireless phones or leave messages on them without consent.
- Those being called can revoke consent in any reasonable way and at any time.
- Reassigned phone numbers lose all consents (can’t call the new person using old consent.) No exceptions.
- Callers retain consent if the same person, using the same number, moves that number from the land line to a mobile device.
And here are some basic TCPA compliance guidelines businesses must follow:
- The Do-Not-Call registry must be honored for five years.
- Companies must tell the people they call who they are and who they are calling for.
- AI telemarketers and prerecorded calls are absolutely prohibited.
If a telemarketer violates any of these rules, they can expect to pay some hefty fines.
What are the TCPA Penalties for Compliance Violations?
TCPA violations are met with serious penalties.
Sprint is one notable example of a company paying very high TCPA fines.
In a 2014 settlement deal, Sprint paid the FCC $7.5 million for violating their Do-Not-Call law.
And in 2017, Dish Network was ordered to pay penalties totaling $280 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Since these fines can vary wildly, as the two examples above illustrate, businesses need to do everything in their power to stay compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by TCPA.
How Can Call Center Software Help You Stay TCPA Compliant?
Luckily, most businesses can keep customers happy, agents calling and help keep you within the expectations of the law with expertly designed call center software
There are many cloud contact solutions designed to help you protect yourself and your business against the penalties of the TCPA. By implementing them, businesses have an easier time taking and making calls while staying on the right side of the law.
Predictive Dialer Software
Predictive dialer software calls telephone numbers for you, often based on a predetermined list. It can detect busy numbers, disconnected numbers, and answering machines so you rarely call someone who won’t answer the phone.
Predictive dialer software uses cell phone scrubbing to remove cell phone numbers from a call list and prevent them from reappearing on the list.
Manually Approved Calling (MAC)
While predictive dialing software is highly reliable, some businesses don’t want to take the risk of putting themselves in the crosshairs of the FCC or any other government agency or private lawsuit.
For them, Manually Approved Calling (MAC) is a safer option.
Here’s how MAC works:
You assign a group of agents to review and approve calls for other agents. So it’s up to them to approve or reject any given call. Approved calls move on into the dialing software while the rejected calls are archived. Takes the guesswork out of your compliance efforts.
TCPA regulations are constantly changing, which means businesses need their software to update automatically when new regulations emerge.
Having call center software that stays ahead of the curve.
The TCPA Compliance Effort Goes On
Just like training and platform updates, TCPA compliance is a never-ending battle.
A great way to keep on top of your game is to record and analyze in-depth call metrics.
Tracking and measuring each agent’s activities in every department is a surefire way to stay on top of complex regulations.
To learn more, check out our free report on business intelligence.