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Call Platform Providers Beware: FCC may have your number!

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 25, 2017 7:30:00 AM / by Bob Traylor

bigstock--163478591.jpgDid you hear about the FCC's $2.88 million Dialing Services Inc. fine? It's important because it shows the reach of the FCC’s implementation power concerning platform providers. Dialing Services did not conduct the robocalls. But the FCC determined Dialing Services platform had been so connected in the deployment of the calls, it was like the company had done the deed itself. 

 

FCC had enough of platform providers? 

This has been going on a long time. In 2012 the FCC issued a warning against Dialing Services for 4.7 million pre-recorded calls delivered over three months. The FCC warned further pre-recorded calls would expose it to fines. Dialing Services petitioned to have the citation reconsidered and rescinded, but the FCC took no action. 

A year later in June 2013, the FCC found Dialing Services’ platform had been contracted to deliver another 184 pre-recorded calls to cell phones after the citation, thus the $3 million fine. The good faith drop from 4.7 million calls to 184 was not acknowledged by the FCC.

 

"I didn't make the calls" defense rejected.

The FCC refused Dialing Services’ claim that it did not “make” any of the calls itself, but had only provided equipment, software and services allowing its clients to make the calls. Probably didn't help that their equipment platform encouraged scammers to block originating telephone numbers and enable caller ID spoofing. In fact, the idea that Dialing Services alone “dials” the numbers made it accountable, the FCC held.

 

Maximum fine proposed and upheld.

The FCC went on to recommend the maximum fine – $16,000 for each of the 184 calls. They remarked these calls were made after the company had already received a citation. And referred to the amount of calls placed before the citation as "staggering".

 

Bad news for dialer platform providers.

So if you are a call platform provider or one of the myriad of closely related siblings, you may be liable for content going through your systems. You don't have to pick the numbers or make the messages anymore to be at fault. Which begs the question: How are delivery providers supposed to know and be responsible for the content of messages loaded into their systems? How can they recognize and be accountable for proper client phone number consents?

 

If your company is involved in illegal robocalls - watch out!

Hey, if the FCC can go after dialer platform providers - anyone in the call chain is fair game. And FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants you to know that Dialing Services was “not the unwitting conduit or passive technical support service it claims to be." Still, not everyone agrees. Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said the Commission was “opening a huge can of worms” by finding Dialing Services answerable for TCPA infractions when its software had multiple lawful applications, none of which were discussed in the FCC’s decision.   

But Chairman Pai is in charge now. So it could be a bumpy ride for call service platform providers with clients wanting to push the compliance envelope.

 

For more information on prudent, cost effective TCPA protections for your business, just call me at 561-317-3001 or email me here - Bob

 

Related Articles:

Litigator Scrub- 7 reasons it's essential for TCPA compliance today.

Cell Phone Scrubbing still key to TCPA solution. 

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Topics: Call Center/Dialer Compliance

Bob Traylor

Written by Bob Traylor

My name is Bob Traylor. Myself, along with my industry friends and leaders, write every DNC Blog on this website personally. We’re not here to regurgitate the latest case law, or confuse, obfuscate, and paralyze. We’re here to help you ask the right DNC questions on your road to appropriate call protections. To point you in the right direction for a more trouble-free outreach calling experience.

And go ahead and sign-up to receive these blogs. You’ll find tips, tricks and secrets that will make a difference in your daily compliance initiatives – I guarantee it! - Enjoy!

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To help keep you out of trouble with out-of-control DNC & TCPA rules and professional consumer litigants wanting to squeeze every drop of money from your challenged coffers!

I also pick up the phone, so you can call my personal line directly at  561-317-3001 with any specific questions.

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