The 6 Best Practices of being TCPA Compliant

 

TCPA Compliance and Cost

TCPA lawsuits have been brought not only against predictable defendants, such as telemarketing firms and debt collectors, but also against social networking companies, travel and entertainment companies, retailers, sports franchises, schools and universities, pharmaceutical companies, and online service providers. Some people assume that companies that outsource their telemarketing services to third-party vendors aren’t held to the same TCPA compliance standards. However, they aren’t immune to TCPA liability. In fact, these companies may be held directly liable for their vendors’ not being TCPA compliant. The majority of companies that have been found guilty of these liabilities have routinely settled TCPA class actions for tens of millions of dollars. Sales call violations with the TCPA can incur penalties of up to $1,500 per violation, so being TCPA compliant is important!

How to Handle Being TCPA Compliant

If your call center utilizes an auto dialer of any kind, staying compliant should be your top priority. Here are the 6 best practices to consider implementing to ensure your company is safe and being TCPA compliant:

1. Get Consent for Everything

For automated marketing calls, obtain written consent. Under TCPA compliance regulations, “prior express written consent” requires a written agreement, signed by the consumer, that includes at least their telephone number. The consent has to specifically authorize telemarketing with automatic dialing/texting or prerecorded voice. When it comes to non-marketing calls, a consumer generally consents to receive non-marketing communications if they have given their number for a specific purpose or in connection with a specific transaction. In general terms, the scope of the consent extends to communications related to the transaction or purpose for which consumers provided their number.

being TCPA compliant

2. Check the DNC Regularly

Consumers who do not want to receive telemarketing calls can register their numbers on the National Do Not Call registry. Your company must maintain written procedures for checking the Do Not Call registry regularly. The best practice for those who have requested to not be contacted (apart from the DNC) is for your company to maintain a company-specific do-not-call number list. Make sure your staff is trained thoroughly on being TCPA compliant, or you could be paying dearly.

3. Scrub All Collections Telephone Numbers

When your company uses a cloud-based call center management system, it comes with a number of features to help ensure your facility stays on top of TCPA compliance. Cell phone ‘scrubbing’ is an automated way of ensuring your firm isn’t calling cell phones or ported numbers that would constitute a violation. Scrubbing software contrasts numbers on the Do Not Call list with ported (or cell) numbers to make sure they don’t appear on your outbound call lists. Any numbers that constitute a violation are deleted from the list, keeping your organization within the law. Although the FCC does not consider collection calls a “telemarketing” endeavor, they still require prior written consent if you will be calling cell phones.

4. Know the Difference Between Cell and Landline Numbers

The rules are different for calling cell phone numbers as opposed to landlines. Your call center may not be allowed to make a prerecorded telemarketing call to a landline without prior written consent. The rules for cell phones apply to pre-recorded and auto-dialed calls, as well as text messages. For this reason, it’s important to employ a call center management system that differentiates between cell phone and landline numbers. The most modern cloud-based systems have features that can automatically segment numbers according to the latest TCPA compliance rules.

being TCPA compliant

5. Cross-Reference Numbers for Consent

Sales call violations with the TCPA can incur penalties of up to $1,500 per violation. Therefore, it’s important that your call center is being TCPA compliant. Written consent is required for an automated call or telemarketing campaign that utilizes robo-calls to sell a good or service. A well-designed call center management software or service will not only record and retain consent for all wireless phone numbers. The software should also cross-reference numbers against your lead call list. Any numbers that don’t have previous written consent are either flagged or deleted, keeping you in the clear from hefty fines. This is where having a system that stores information for each number dialed is a huge help. Your employees can flag specific numbers, enter comments during or after a conversation, and have all the information they need upfront about a customer.

6. Double-Check Your Pre-Recorded Scripts

Because of the telemarketing abuse suffered by consumers all over the country, the latest version of the TCPA instituted some very specific rules for delivering recorded messages. An automated call center management system provides means to double-check all your pre-recorded scripts. It’s important to state your business immediately at the beginning of each call (whether it’s identifying your company, introducing the person you are calling on behalf of, or explaining the act or service you would like to provide) along with the name you use to conduct business. You must also provide a phone number where a live service representative can be reached, and it must not be the number used by the auto dialer.

Are You Using the Best Auto-Dialer?

If your company isn’t employing an auto-dialer that handles all of these situations and circumstances, then it’s time to find a new program. Call Logic is an enhanced, cloud-based call center software solution that can help you with being TCPA compliant, fill higher call quotas, and keep your staff all on the same page. Plus, you won’t break your budget. Give us a call or schedule a free demo today!

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