With the October 16th 2013 Cell Phone Calling update – cell phones are no longer consumer agnostic ie it doesn’t matter if the phone is for business or pleasure. You’re not supposed to call cells with any kind of auto assisted dialing system, including predictive dialers or pre-recorded messaging. But there may be other hidden risks too.
The 5 TCPA Risks of Social Media Sourced Sales calls:
- If you’re calling consumers, you already know this one - better scrub those cells. And make sure you hand dial those cells. (Click here for Best Way to Identify Wireless Numbers for B2C's).
- If you’re calling B2B, especially from data leads mined through social media (as tech and software companies tend to do), scrub for wireless numbers also, and call those numbers by hand. That’ll be a bit tough – as most B2B calls use some sort of auto-assistance. (Click here for our B2B cell scrubbing blog w/video).
- If your calling in these five States: Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Texas and Wyoming, new State Legislation says you can’t call those cells even dialing by hand. And that overrides Federal Legislation.
- The FTC, speaking recently at the PACE Summit in Washington DC, mentioned they expected businesses calling other small businesses to scrub against the National DNC Registry. Apparently they’ll be sensitive to that going forward. This implies registry with the DNC as a B2B exemption. (We recently wrote a blog on DNC Registration for B2B's w/video).
- Cell owners are smart. They’ve been conditioned to believe no business calls to their cells are legal. They’ll have a higher propensity to complain, even if you are right. Who has the very highest probability of lodging a complaint? Previous Litigants of course. (Here is our page on "How to identify Known DNC / TCPA Plaintiffs and Litigants").
As you dive into data mining companies panacea of getting information usually buried in Linked-in or other social media outlets, know that medium and high level company employees are starting to receive unsolicited calls on their cells from these and other sources. Predatory attorneys are noticing this trend, as most B2B companies are not aware of the risks of calling from social media sources – and they have no DNC/TCPA policies, procedures and enforcements in place to defend themselves.
Further, the first VOIP court case has been decided – and the consumer won. (Click for some ideas on "How to scrub for VoIP numbers").
Are you kidding? Apparently the consumer was, “Charged for the call…” under TCPA guidelines - something like a tenth of a cent. Paid for outgoing too. Fortunately, you can also scrub for VOIP lines, which are considered landlines, and won’t come up in a cell scrub.
So how real are these risks of calling from hidden social media data records?
They’re real. Best source of what’s really going on are probably Attorneys with a lot of telemarketing B2B and B2C clients. They’re madly trying to settle these cell cases and educate their clients, as they make fertile ground for class action certifications.
I certainly hope I’m overstating the issue. But if this follows true-to-form in what we’ve seen in B2C class actions, B2B could be the next bullet on the private right of actions hit parade.
What do you think?
Is this even on your radar as a phone sales professional? If you have other helpful hints leave some comments using the form below.