You’re real excited to bring this new business to your call center. But the whole Do-Not-Call TCPA regulations liability exposure thing is new to you. You’re selling Energy, or Satellite TV, or Granite & Glass table tops and you need to contact consumers. But this company, on whose behalf you’ll be calling, wants you to somehow certify you have complied with the DNC & TCPA Laws - without cell scrubbing, or a subscription authorization number, or express written consents to help protect you from compliance statutes.
You’re right to be concerned. There is generally a good (and expensive) reason companies will insist an outsourced vendor, marketer, or fulfillment house handle the Do Not Call Law registrations and compliance chores for them.
3 Critical Questions to ask before Cold-Calling on behalf of a Client:
Do you want me to call all over the country, or to just a few area codes?
- If this Company has requested you handle the DNC, and wants you to call all over the country without supplying a Subscription Authorization Number, or SAN, that’s a potential deal breaker.
- DNC National Registration prices vary from zero (if less than 5 area codes) to $17,000 for every area code in the country, per year.
Who’s handling the States?
- States have become more active in creating additional cell law restrictions recently. So you’ll need to scrub against 14 or so States also.
- Even though you’re dialing by hand, 5 States have cell laws that don’t allow even hand dialing of cells. You’ll need to scrub those out and archive those efforts.
What are the additional safe harbor requirements for the DNC Laws?
- In order to survive a safe harbor assessment from the FTC, FCC, or State AG you’ll need to have a Do-Not-Call Policy to send out certified mail on demand, as well as a company-specific internal list. You’ll add to the internal list when people say “I’m not on the DNC List, but don’t call me anymore.”
- These need to be archived and ready in the timeframe and format needed should a problem occur.
Further Considerations in cold-calling on behalf of another Company:
Compliance registrations are, in most cases, by far the biggest financial hurdle to overcome. The actual DNC solutions products themselves, even from top compliance providers, won’t break the bank.
The Government doesn’t care what agreement you have with your outsourced vendor on “handling the DNC Compliance,” If a problem occurs, the Government might come after both of you.
The company you represent is supposed to handle their own registrations and SAN number.
Be aware, if a problem occurs, the company on whose behalf you’re calling might come after you legally also.
If a company on whose behalf you’re calling claims an Established Business Relationship with clients, you’ll need the date of the last product or service transaction for each client. As State EBR exemptions can be more restrictive than National, it’s a good idea to scrub those numbers against Federal & State EBR restrictions before placing calls. (Article update: Advertisers will have to obtain written consumer consent, even if they previously had a business relationship with the consumer as of October 16th, 2013.)
So before signing on with a new Company you’re making calls for, be aware of compliance considerations from the Do-Not-Call Laws, TCPA and CFPB—which are becoming more prohibitive all the time. And more expensive run afoul of! (See our blog: "How does the Do-Not-Call List work for my busines.").
Yes, the phone is still the best way to go. The best kept secret. No substitute for talking with another human being to elicit action! Just make sure you’re protected and keeping up with the prohibitions before jumping in.
When a company wants you to make cold calls for them, but “just wants you to handle the DNC and TCPA laws,” and doesn’t provide a National SAN or any other DNC guidance, policies, or procedures, you’ll want to have a serious heart-to-heart with them before taking on that business.
More often than not, they have a pretty good idea of the DNC liability exposure they’re hoping to avoid.
Got some tips for call centers taking on new clients? Feel free to share them below - and Thanks!