The most important thing to remember about third party vendor call centers, or even your own center, is that they are in the business of making calls. Traditionally, they weren’t that concerned with Do Not Call and TCPA Compliance. You’d hear things like, “We’ve never had a problem with the Do-Not-Call” or “We’ve always done it this way, don’t worry about compliance.” Well, all that has changed. Compliance is the number one issue for call centers and outsourced vendors at this time
It’s incumbent on you to make sure such claims are compliant. Make sure your third party vendors allow you to monitor calls randomly and check their daily compliance procedures unannounced. You can’t hire a center to make calls on your behalf and feed them data and expect to be excluded from any lawsuit that might be brought against you. And just because a center has a huge compliance page on their website doesn’t necessarily mean Do Not Call and TCPA Law procedures are being followed!
All the compliance claims by call centers don’t mean much if they aren’t there for you should a problem occur. And some won’t be – so it’s incumbent on you to check early and often about your third party or in-house call center procedures. Ask about the infrastructure of the outsourced BPO Vendor. Whether dialing equipment and procedures could be construed as an Automatic Telephone Dialing System. Is the equipment certified as “manual” via a top Do Not Call Compliance Service Provider? And get these DNC compliance call center claims in writing during your thorough due diligence process.
The playing field has become more dangerous than ever. The 900 lb gorilla in the room is a class action suits by consumers. The theory being, “If you called me using illegal equipment Mr. Call Center, then you must be doing it to other folks also.” Further, the FCC has changed the TCPA to make it even more restrictive. It’s harder than ever for companies to defend themselves EXACTLY HOW they called, whether via auto dialer or manual. And Attorneys know that, and they’ve been successful at prosecuting these callers for settlements in the Millions of Dollars. One prominent attorney filed 508 consumer suits last year.
Calls to cell phones are high on the list right now. Understanding all the types of calls being made, and what type of consent you have. And Companies need to understand they are responsible for, and have major liability exposure on, calls made on their behalf by third party vendors and call centers. Vendor oversight is probably the number one issue for companies now in outreach initiatives.
For some reason, Business to Business call centers have a tendency to think they are exempt – from everything! After the October 16th, 2013 TCPA cell law update, call centers must understand that socially sourced brokered lists are laced with problematic cells from Linked-in and Twitter – as data companies gain access to previously private data. Calling these cells using any auto-assisted dialing equipment is now illegal. B2B companies should also consider signing up for and scrubbing against the National DNC List so as not to call small and medium size businesses with cells on that list.
The Call Center’s biggest challenge is probably convincing B2B clients that not identifying and scrubbing wireless numbers in call data has become their largest liability exposure to these call prohibitions.
No matter what kind of fulfillment house or third-party vendor making calls on your behalf is being used, you are responsible for compliance. Consider opening an account with a Certified Do Not Call Law Compliance Service Provider, like the ones we represent at Do-Not-Call Protection. Your data will pass through a compliance repository list before each call, be dated and archived via third party experts, ready in the timeframe and format required by the FCC, FTC, State AG’s or consumer litigator should a problem occur. At the end of the day, it may be more effective to have that extra compliance protection at a nominal cost, than lean completely on your call center for DNC TCPA defense in this litigious environment.