“I run an insurance agency. If I can’t get a ringless voicemail provider to certify this is legal, then I can’t use it.” A valid consideration in the midst of internet pronouncements proclaiming Ringless "completely legal." But when you sign up to use Ringless as a marketing tool, it seems providers aren't willing to take responsibility should something go wrong: “Our ringless system provides ‘as is' service. We’ll do everything we can to comply with applicable laws, but if there is a problem, you’re on your own.” Further, isn't voicemail regulated outside the TCPA as an Enhanced Information Service?
The internet is alive with turn-key offers to increase car dealership sales through Ringless Voicemail Drops! Citing the high cost of mailing consumers – and low cost of directly delivering messages to a voicemail associated with a cell phone – without touching the wireless network. Ringless providers continue to specialize in market niches to expand the technology. But is this safe for auto marketing companies, car dealerships and stores across the Country?
"This is Monica. I’m calling from the factory warranty department."Monica – are you an Avatar?
"Yes, I’m a live person pressing responses because of my inability to speak with you directly."
Monica – you know there is no Factory Warranty Department. That’s not even a company. You’re scamming me.
No answer. I guess there wasn’t a tab for that response.
Ringless Voicemail allows you to directly deposit a message on a voicemail server. The recipient is not billed for the call, so it doesn’t appear on their monthly statement, and they're not interrupted by the message. This form of discreet, cost effective cell phone penetration has been popular since it’s inception five years ago. But what about additional Do Not Call and TCPA Protections? What else can the Ringless Voicemail Drop user do to stay out of trouble?
Ringless Voicemail - depositing a voice message directly onto a cell voicemail server, bypassing the wireless network - has discovered the advantages of a TCPA Litigator Scrub. Although Ringless has certain TCPA benefits: 1. The recipient is never interrupted, so no complaints! 2. The recipient isn't billed 3. Voicemail is regulated outside the TCPA as an "Enhanced Information Service" 4. The message never touches the wireless network at all - Lately, Ringless has discovered the extra TCPA protection of "Litigator Scrub". That is, eliminating the 90,000 previous call prohibition court filers before each campaign.
We continue to get confused calls from professional phone marketers on Ringless. One guy was bent on using the FOTI message with recipients name rather than the more common Zortman message without. (An outdated worry.) Another wedged between his hesitant attorney and not being able to cost effectively penetrate his cell phone inventory. (Hint: the Attorney is still in business.) I’ve been involved with Ringless or “Voicemail Drops” since its inception with inventor David King in Atlanta for the last 5 years. We’ve seen a lot, and actually have amassed a bit of a track record at this point.
Neal Jagoda, VP of VoApps DirectDrop Voicemail, was kind enough to spend a few minutes with us at the American Collections Association Show in Denver last week. Neal has been quietly transforming the debt collections industry for the last five years helping companies effectively penetrate their cell phone inventory without complaints or lawsuits – or dialers. Listen to what Neal has to say about collections and how to safely reach out to consumers. Take it away Neal -
Some companies just aren’t going to take advantage of the polite, discrete delivery capabilities of ringless voicemail. Even after their business qualifies for use by the top ringless providers. Even after looking at their vendor agreements and seeing no conflicts with this method of contact. Even after using ringless for awhile and making a lot of money! We’ve seen legal teams get cold feet and abruptly terminate direct to voicemail campaigns, even though we’ve never heard of any legal difficulties with the technology. And although debt collectors, for example, pay millions in fines for other types of collection procedures - consolidate, or go out of business paying TCPA related fines - Ringless Voicemail still remains the only method of consumer contact that hasn't been to court.
It’s not easy being a political call center lately, especially after the FCC's 2012 Political Call Enforcement Advisory not to call cells. And you’re used to sub-penny voicebroadcasting budgets – and count on that for your rate structure. But political candidates have two questions for you this season: 1. Are your calls compliant? 2. How much do your calling campaigns cost? Ringless Voicemail prices have come down lately, and just might fit the bill on both counts – keeping you and your candidates happy – while getting some serious cell inventory penetration and lots of callbacks.
You are probably familiar with the pioneering uses of Direct-To-Voicemail or “Ringless Voicemail” applications for debt collectors, student loan servicers, for-profit colleges and health care providers. Perfect marketing scenarios with an ongoing need to communicate, and an existing relationship. But how about timeshare resales – when it’s time to sell that unit after the buyer sobers up and realizes what they've done. A straight to voicemail message without ringing the phone can go a long way. Or the travel contest call – it’s a lot easier to get to a winner when you're not interrupting them. And when they call you back, they’re much less likely to complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau!