Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

ContactCenterWorld.com

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used

LinkedIn

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties

OK
Become a Basic Member for free. Click Here

Contact Center Compliance - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

January 2018 Holiday Call Restrictions

Calls to these states on restricted dates could result in a State violation:

January 1st: New Year’s Day

  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • CANADA

January 2nd: New Year’s Day

  • Louisiana (by proclamation)

January 15th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

January 15th: Robert E. Lee’s Birthday

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi

Source: http://dnc.com/January-2018-Holiday-Call-Restrictions

Publish Date: December 14, 2017 5:00 AM


December 2017 Holiday Call Restrictions

Calls to these states on restricted dates could result in a State violation: 

December 25th: Christmas Day

- Alabama
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Rhode Island
- Utah

December 25th: Christmas Day

- Canada (National)

December 26th: Boxing Day

- Canada (Ontario)

Source: http://dnc.com/December-2017-Holiday-Call-Restrictions

Publish Date: November 16, 2017 5:00 AM


November 2017 Holiday Call Restrictions

Calls to these states on restricted dates could result in a State violation: 

November 11th: Veterans Day

Observed Nov. 10

- Alabama
- Louisiana
- Utah

Observed Nov. 13

- Rhode island

November 11th: Armistice Day (observed Nov. 10)

- Mississippi

November 11th: Remembrance Day (observed Nov. 13)

- Canada (Alberta, Edward Island, Labrador, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and Yukon)

November 23rd: Thanksgiving Day

- Alabama
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Rhode Island
- Utah

Source: http://dnc.com/November-2017-Holiday-Call-Restrictions

Publish Date: October 17, 2017 5:00 AM


7 Keys to Avoid TCPA & DNC Lawsuits

Stringent regulatory requirements have created an environment where inadvertent errors by telemarketers can suddenly become the basis for expensive TCPA lawsuits. It’s no surprise that nearly every week we read about a new TCPA lawsuit involving a million dollar settlement for another class action lawsuit. Even for experienced marketers, drudging through pages of federal and state regulations can leave you feeling lost in an endless maze of confusing compliance regulations.  It’s understandable.

Marketers are experts at optimizing sales and increasing profits. That’s what you do best. But in order to excel in your career, you must always be prepared for the court’s next interpretation of the FCC’s technically outdated TCPA or DNC regulations.

Each new regulatory interpretation by the court requires an internal review to ensure your marketing activities remain compliant. Understanding compliance and preparing your business for the next wave of regulatory changes is one of the most challenging responsibilities. One mistake could instigate a TCPA lawsuit and cripple your business financially.

Contact Center Compliance has compiled this list of tips to provide some guidance for developing the compliance strategy that works best for your business.

Keys to Successfully Manage Compliance 

  1. Federal/State Laws & Regulations. At all levels of government, regulations are being debated, challenged, and changed. Every company needs a formal process for updating procedures throughout the entire organization. This includes communications with third-party marketers calling on your behalf. All marketing parties should be operating uniformly in compliance with current laws and alerted of potential changes. Don’t become the industry example for what not to do!
  2. Data Retention. The FTC and FCC mandate specific time-based requirements for retention of certain records. Even though their storage is legally required, it can benefit your business. Archived records may be your only resource for building a defense against litigation or governmental inquiries. Sales and marketing records should be centralized, secure, and easily accessible. They should include your company’s marketing activities and those conducted by third-parties on your company’s behalf.
  3. Third Party Marketers. From a legal perspective, the responsibility for ensuring and maintaining compliance is with the company that commissions the third-party marketing companies. It is important to remember that you cannot contract away compliance responsibilities, no matter the assurances from your marketing partners. Conduct a formal process of due diligence for selecting reputable third parties to conduct marketing activities on your behalf. Most importantly, you’ll then need to continually follow up with ongoing monitoring and compliance enforcement.
  4. Compliance Manager. If you manage a large telemarketing operation with multiple third-party call centers, you will want it overseen by someone who is well-versed in the application of compliance regulations. This person would manage a compliance program that includes preparing a manual documenting your company’s compliance processes and procedures. They would also provide initial and refresher training on critical compliance tasks with assigned responsibilities, and ongoing monitoring of compliance related efforts.
  5. Quick Complaint Resolution. Timely dispute resolution is extremely important, especially if you want to prevent unnecessary lawsuits. Somethings a simple friendly conversation with an angry consumer can end a problem before it becomes a major situation for the courts to resolve. Regulators understand that mistakes happen and are often willing to forgive mistakes. But the responsibility is on you to show evidence that your company has documented its compliance processes and procedures.
  6. DNC Scrubbing. If you are marketing to consumers, you are required to purge phone numbers that are on the National Do Not Call Registry as well as the individual state managed DNC lists. Failure to comply could result in federal fines up to $40,000 and state fines up to $25,000. For business-to-business marketers, you can check with the National Do Not call Registry to see if you qualify for an exemption.
  7. TCPA & DNC Compliance Provider. Most companies that use telemarketing don’t have the infrastructure to support staying current with every new and proposed change to TCPA and DNC. The preferred choice among businesses is to partner with a reputable compliance provider whose sole responsibility is to deliver services to telemarketers that ensure adherence to all federal and state compliance laws.

Managing compliance can be an overwhelming distraction from your sales objectives, but is necessary for every business. Many businesses leaders already turn to Contact Center Compliance, the respected TCPA and DNC compliance authority with a 100% track record for over ten years – no fines, no violations, and no lawsuits.

You’re the expert when it comes to marketing the products and services your business offers. To succeed at your job, you need an equally well-versed expert in TCPA and DNC compliance regulations. Contact Center Compliance is the cloud-based compliance provider with the expertise to reduce your risk of regulatory violations and potential lawsuits that could cost your business millions of dollars in a class action settlement.

To learn more about compliance services that are the perfect complement for your business, sign up for a complimentary compliance audit with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (362-5478).

Source: http://dnc.com/7-Keys-to-Avoid-TCPA-DNC-Lawsuits

Publish Date: October 16, 2017 5:00 AM


FTC Updates Senate on Efforts to Combat Robocalls

On October 4th, 2017 the FTC issued a prepared statement of their testimony to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging which provided an update on their battle against illegal robocalls. The FTC used this opportunity to highlight their progress in several key areas including Law Enforcement, New Technology, and Consumer Education.

Since the FTC began enforcing the Do Not Call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) in 2004, the Commission has brought 131 enforcement actions seeking civil penalties. From the 124 cases that have been resolved thus far, they have collected over $120 million in monetary relief and civil penalties.

In 2017 the FTC has received an average of 400,000 robocall complaints per month.

Below are highlights from the FTC’s testimony to the Senate entitled, Still Ringing off the Hook: An Update on Efforts to Combat Robocalls.

Robocall Law Enforcement

TSR provisions went into effect in September 2009, prohibiting the vast majority of robocalls selling a good or service.  The robocall provisions cover prerecorded calls to all consumers, including those who have not registered their phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.

The FTC has aggressively enforced prohibitions against robocalls, filing 45 cases against 163 companies and 121 individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls. From the 41 cases concluded thus far, the Commission has collected more than $29 million.

Strategic Targeting of Robocall Violators

Over the past two years the FTC, often in conjunction with its law enforcement partners, initiated nine new actions targeting defendants alleged to be responsible for billions of illegal robocalls selling home security systems, free vacations, medical alert devices, energy savings, and credit card interest rate reductions.

As an example, in January 2017, the Commission filed two lawsuits, FTC v. Justin Ramsey and FTC v. Aaron Michael Jones that shut down operations responsible for billions of illegal robocalls. 70 million of the telemarketing calls were to numbers on the Do No Call Registry. For more on this lawsuit read our blog article, FTC Takes Down Two Companies Accused of Illegal Robocalling.

Reaching Violators Attempting to Avoid Detection

Illegal robocallers often hide behind abusive and fraudulent calls. They take steps to avoid detection, either by operating through a web of related entities, “spoofing” their Caller ID information, or hiding overseas. The FTC uses every investigative and litigation tool at its disposal to cut through these deceptions. Again, the Jones and Ramsey cases are examples of how defendants operated through a tangle of related individuals and entities to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Another tactic used by abusive robocallers is to evade law enforcement by operating overseas. To address the issue of consumers victimized by fraudulent calls from international call centers, the Commission has cracked down on their U.S. enablers.

Coordination with Law Enforcement Partners

The FTC maintains collaborative relationships with state law enforcers, including through the National Association of Attorneys General Do Not Call working group. The Commission also coordinates with its counterparts in other countries on particular cases and broader strategic matters such as Caller ID spoofing. The FTC’s collaboration with its partners takes many forms, including sharing information and targets, assisting with investigations, and working collaboratively on long-term policy initiatives.

New Technologies Benefit Robocallers

Evolving technologies have created even more problems for the FTC in their ability to combat what has become a sophisticated illegal telemarketing networks. The major issues in play revolve around the following:

  1. Inexpensive Calling. Robocallers benefit from automated dialing technology, inexpensive international and long distance calling rates, and the ability to move internationally and employ cheap labor. The only necessary equipment is a computer connected to the Internet.
  2. Masked Identity. Technological changes have enabled telemarketers to conceal their identities. New technologies allow callers to easily manipulate the Caller ID information that appears with an incoming phone call.
  3. International Calling. New technologies allow robocallers to operate outside of jurisdictions where they are most likely to face prosecution. The entities involved in the path of a robocall can be located in different countries. The process for tracing calls often fails because one of the carriers in the chain has not retained the records necessary for a law enforcement investigation.

Consumer Education

The FTC delivers practical, plain language information on numerous issues in English and in Spanish. The Commission also uses law enforcement announcements as opportunities to remind consumers how to recognize a similar situation and report it to the FTC.

In the case of robocalls, the FTC’s message to consumers is simple:  if you answer a call and hear an unwanted recorded sales message—HANG UP.

Contact Center Compliance is proud to have maintained a 100% track record for over ten years with no fines, no violations, and no lawsuits. If you are confused about federal and state regulations that affect your business, we are here to answer your questions. We’ll find the best compliance solution for your business and marketing efforts.

To learn more about compliance services that are perfect for your business, sign up for a complimentary compliance audit with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (362-5478).

Source: http://dnc.com/FTC-Updates-Senate-on-Efforts-to-Combat-Robocalls

Publish Date: October 5, 2017 5:00 AM


7 Point FCC Strategy to Defeat Illegal Robocalls

The FCC adopted the Consumer Advisory Committee’s (CAC) recommendation for unwanted call blocking during their September 18th meeting. The intent of the seven action items is to focus on the importance of allowing voice-service providers the flexibility to address illegal robocalls in a way that does not inadvertently block legitimate business-to-consumer calls.

Background

For some perspective, we go back to March 23rd when the FCC issued their initial robocall recommendations proposal (see FCC Declares War on Robocallers). Their goal was to facilitate a process that allowed voice-service providers to block illegal robocalls. This proposal was made available for comment in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry. Based on input from those in the teleservices industry, they sought to develop criteria for differentiating illegal robocalls from those which are legitimate.

“We know the problem of illegal robocalls is complicated and the solutions are many – and today’s proposals are only the Commission’s first step toward defeating this scourge.” -- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

The FCC believed that the best strategy for achieving their goal of eliminating illegal robocalls was to work with the industry by removing regulatory roadblocks. They wanted to address competing policy considerations regarding call blocking. Their goal was to arrive at an effective solution that ensures consumer protection without hindering legal business-to-consumer communications.

On May 19th the FCC adopted the CAC’s proposal of recommend steps that the agency should take to combat unwanted robocalls. Their 11 Recommendations for Unwanted Calls covered the topics of education, enforcement, and the consumer complaint process.

That brings us to September 18th. The CAC pushed this issue to the next level by adopting their proposed recommendation to the FCC, Recommendation Regarding Unwanted Call Blocking. It included the following action items.

7 Point Unwanted Call Blocking Recommendation

Suspected Illegal Robocalls. Permit and encourage voice-service providers to block robocalls in certain specified circumstances to protect subscribers from suspected illegal robocalls.

Subscriber Requested Blocking. Permit and encourage voice-service providers to block calls when the subscriber to the originating number has requested that the calls be blocked.

Suspicious Call Origination Blocking. Permit and encourage voice-service providers to block calls (and to develop any industry practices and procedures needed to facilitate such blocking) in the following circumstances.

Calls originating from invalid numbers

Calls originating from numbers not allocated to any provider

Calls originating from numbers that are allocated to a provider but not assigned to a subscriber

Blocking Service Awareness. Encourage voice-service providers that have implemented call blocking services to inform current and potential subscribers through, at minimum, their published terms of service.

Collaborative Blocking Solutions. Encourage stakeholders from consumer and industry sectors to work collaboratively to develop processes and solutions whereby unintended blocking of legitimate callers can be remedied in a timely and efficient manner.

Optional Blocking Tools. Encourage voice providers to offer consumers optional tools to block robocalls beyond the four categories mentioned in the NPRM and NOI and make information about those options easily available to current and potential subscribers. Voice-service providers (and third-party providers) should be afforded sufficient flexibility to establish standards that can be utilized to meet this goal.

Blocking Impact Review. Study the implementation and effectiveness of blocking measures, within two years after the new rule is finalized in order to assess the impact of various blocking measures.

The meeting concluded with Matthew Berry, Chief of Staff for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, stating that illegal robocalls are a “top priority” for the FCC, but he emphasized that attacking it would require a multi-pronged strategy. The overall consensus was that solving the problem will not happen overnight. 

CONCLUSION

We are optimistic that the intent of these recommendations is to find a balance between blocking illegal robocallers and preserving the legitimate right of businesses to communicate with consumers. Still, there is cause for concern. Even though technology within the teleservices industry has made incredible advancements over the last 10 years, there is no reliable way for voice-service providers to effectively block illegal robocalls without legitimate calls being caught in the sweep.

Every day, legitimate business-to-consumer calls are appearing on consumer phones as “suspected scam” or simply blocked. For debt collections agencies this is a critical issue that directly affects their business and needs to be considered as new call blocking technologies are being developed.

The good news for the telemarketing industry is that the FCC is aware of the problem and attempting to find a reasonable balance between consumer protection and the need for businesses call consumers for legitimate purposes. The bad news is that implementing any new regulatory solutions will take time. For now we must that expect voice-service providers will continue to provide imperfect blocking tools that catch more than illegal robocallers in their technological nets.

Similarly, a problem common to businesses that use telemarketing and ATDS is the confusion of choosing the correct TCPA “consent” requirement for calling on your leads. Contact Center Compliance has developed the simple solution for your business.  Download our free Quick Reference Guide for easy identification of the correct “consent” requirements under the TCPA based on the specific Call and Line Type of your lead data.

Your FREE complimentary compliance resource is only a click away.

Contact Center Compliance is an award winning cloud-based compliance solutions provider. Our team will work with your business to identifying solutions that enable your call center to easily adhere to the latest DNC and TCPA regulations in a cost effective manner. Sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (362-5478) x116.

Source: http://dnc.com/7-Point-FCC-Strategy-to-Defeat-Illegal-Robocalls

Publish Date: September 25, 2017 5:00 AM


October 2017 Holiday Call Restrictions

Calls to these states on restricted dates could result in a State violation: 

October 9th: Columbus Day

- Alabama
- Louisiana
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island
- Utah

October 9th: Thanksgiving

- Canada (All provinces except: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island)

Source: http://dnc.com/October-2017-Holiday-Call-Restrictions

Publish Date: September 22, 2017 5:00 AM


Reassigned Phone Numbers: The “One Call” Rule Solution

At the beginning of every telemarketing campaign you faithfully scrub cell phone numbers. But when your ATDS dials a cell phone are you sure the person answering is the same person that provided you with permission to call in the first place? The wrong answer could prove costly to your business as it has for many others. Even a large company like JPMorgan Chase paid a $3.75 million settlement for calling 675,000 reassigned numbers.

In today’s lawsuit-happy regulatory environment, businesses must exercise caution when interacting with consumers—even with those who provided express consent. It’s not enough to believe the phone number belongs to the consumer who gave consent. Every call you make establishes potential cause for consumers and serial litigator to initiate a lawsuit. Attorneys who specialize in filing TCPA complaints know that the FCC’s strict rules for reassigned numbers make it one of the easiest ways to justify lawsuits against telemarketers. 

What they don’t want you to know is that it is also one of the easiest for telemarketers to protect against when they partner with a qualified compliance provider. Contact Center Compliance, the industry leading compliance provider, recommends scrubbing your marketing lists against their database of reassigned numbers at the beginning of your telemarketing campaign.

What are reassigned Numbers?

Before calling a cell phone using an ATDS, the TCPA requires consent from the current owner of the number, not the intended recipient of the call. Even responsible telemarketers who have already obtained express consent from the intended customer could be liable for a TCPA violation if the number has been reassigned to a different person.

How does number reassignment work?

Phone number reassignment refers to the event after a number has been deactivated or disconnected and then later reassigned to another person. The reassignment will typically take 90 days, but it can be faster in high-demand area codes.

100,000 phone numbers are reassigned every day.

Cell phone providers recycle telephone numbers by returning them to their pool of aging numbers for a period of time following disconnection before reassigning them to new subscribers. Approximately 35 million telephone numbers are disconnected and aged each year. Wireless carriers reassign 100,000 numbers every day.

The Telemarketer’s Responsibility

When the owner of the cell phone number changes, so does the permission tied to the number according to the TCPA. Any businesses that call cell phones with an ATDS are affected. This includes nonprofits, political, surveys, collections and telemarketing.  The law provides for $500 in compensation for calls found to be in violation and up to $1,500 for calls that knowingly or willfully violate the TCPA

The FCC’s solution is that businesses get one chance to get it right. The FCC found that “callers who make calls without knowledge of reassignment and with a reasonable basis to believe that they have valid consent to make the call should be able to initiate one call after reassignment as an additional opportunity to gain actual or constructive knowledge of the reassignment and cease future calls to the new subscriber.”

With the new “one-call” rule in place, businesses need to be extremely careful about all interactions with customers—even with those who have given express consent.

The Logical Solution

Identify reassigned numbers in your call data prior to initiating the first call.  The process is easily controlled when working with a qualified compliance provider. When it comes to protecting your business, you want nothing less than the best.

You expect an experienced compliance provider with a track record of over 10 years without fines, violations, or lawsuits. Contact Center Compliance is that company.

TCPA Verification Scrub is a service offered by Contact Center Compliance. It is a cloud-based process that quickly and efficiently determines whether the cell phone owner that gave you permission to call is in fact the same person you’re about to call.

To learn more about our TCPA Verification Scrub and other compliance services that are perfect for your business, sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (363-5478).

Source: http://dnc.com/Reassigned-Phone-Numbers-The-One-Call-Rule-Solution

Publish Date: September 18, 2017 5:00 AM


12 States That Still Manage “Do Not Call” Lists in 2017

Most states that once had “Do Not Call” registries now share the National DNC Registry, but there are still a few holdouts that continue to maintain their own lists. Before telemarketers call into any of these twelve states, they must purchase a subscription to that state’s DNC list. Not doing so will expose your company to legal problems and expensive fines regardless of whether the phone number in question is already on the national list to which you subscribe.

State Managed “Do Not Call” Lists:

1. Colorado

The annual subscription fee ranges from $0 to $500 depending on how many employees work for the company which employs telemarketers. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  January, April, July, and October. Visit Colorado’s DNC website.

2. Florida

The annual subscription fee is $400 per statewide listing or $120 per area code. The quarterly subscription fee is $100 per statewide listing or $30 per area code.  The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  December, March, June, and September. Visit Florida’s DNC website.

3. Indiana

The annual subscription fee is $750. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  December, March, June, and September. Visit Indiana’s DNC website.

4. Louisiana

The annual subscription fee ranges from $800 to $1,700 as determined by the number of telemarketing affiliates that plan to share the purchaser’s subscription. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:   December, March, June, and September. Visit Louisiana’s DNC website.

5. Massachusetts

The annual subscription fee is $1,100. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  January, April, July, and October. Visit Massachusetts’s DNC website.

6. Mississippi

The annual subscription fee is $1,000 and is due by July 1 of each year. A $50,000 Surety Bond must be included as a guarantee against payment for any future fines resulting from regulatory violations. The state DNC list is updated monthly. Telemarketers are required to update their DNC lists with the new information each month. Visit Mississippi’s DNC website.

7. Missouri

The annual subscription fee is $1,200 or $300 per quarter for all area codes.  The quarterly subscription fee is $50 per area code. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  December, March, June, and September. Visit Missouri’s DNC website.

8. Oklahoma

The annual subscription fee is $600 or $150 per quarter. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  December, March, June, and September. Visit Oklahoma’s DNC website.

9. Pennsylvania

The annual subscription fee is $495. The Direct Marketing Association is acting as the list administrator. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  January, April, July, and October. Visit Pennsylvania’s DNC website.

 10. Tennessee

The annual subscription fee is $500 and is due by May 1 of each year. The state DNC list is updated monthly. Telemarketers are required to update their DNC lists with the new information each month. Visit Tennessee’s DNC website.

 11. Texas

The annual subscription fee is $300 or $75 per quarter. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:   January, April, July, and October. Visit Texas’s DNC website.

 12. Wyoming

The annual subscription fee is $465 per year. The Direct Marketing Association is acting as the list administrator. The state DNC list is updated quarterly. Telemarketers must obtain the new updates published in:  January, April, July, and October. Visit Wyoming’s DNC website.

Unless exemptions apply to your business, telemarketers are prohibited from calling numbers from both the national and state DNC lists.  Violators of the state DNC risk civil penalties of up to $25,000. Compliance continues to be an ongoing concern for most businesses that employ telemarketing as a component of their marketing actives.

With each new regulation, TCPA and DNC compliance becomes a greater headache for marketing companies to manage alone. Thankfully, there is a solution. Contact Center Compliance, the award winning compliance provider, has its time tested processes in place designed to easily keep your business compliant with all federal and state regulatory laws. Sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (363-5478).

Source: http://dnc.com/12-States-That-Manage-Do-Not-Call-Lists-2017

Publish Date: August 21, 2017 5:00 AM


DNC Registry Access Fee Rises for Telemarketers in 2018

The Federal Trade Commission has announced FY 2018 fees for telemarketers accessing phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. The annual fees will increase slightly from FY 2017, and are set forth in a Federal Register notice.

All telemarketers calling consumers in the United States are required to download the numbers on the Do Not Call Registry to ensure they do not call consumers who have registered their phone numbers. The first five area codes are free, and organizations that are exempt from the Do Not Call rules, such as some charitable organizations, may obtain the entire list for free. Telemarketers must subscribe each year for access to the Registry numbers.

The FY 2018 Registry access fees will increase slightly based on a reevaluation, as required by the Do‑Not‑Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007. Under the Act’s provisions, in FY 2018 telemarketers will pay $62 for yearly access to Registry phone numbers in a single area code (an increase of $1 from FY 2017), up to a maximum charge of $17,021 for all area codes nationwide (up from $16,714 in FY 2017). The fee for accessing an additional area code for a half year will increase to $31.

The Commission vote authorizing publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the new fees was 2-0. The staff contact is Ami Dziekan, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202‑326‑2648.

Source: http://dnc.com/DNC-Registry-Access-Fee-Rises-for-Telemarketers-2018

Publish Date: August 15, 2017 5:00 AM


FTC Escalates Fight Against Robocallers

The FTC begins August with an announcement that they are escalating the fight against illegal robocalls. Under a new initiative, when consumers file complaints about robocallers or Do Not Call violations with the FTC, the corresponding phone numbers will be reported daily to telecommunications carriers and other organizations that are working to block illegal robocalls. Included in the data will be the date and time the call was received, the general subject matter of the call (such as debt reduction, energy, warranties, home security, etc.), and whether the call was a robocall.

“The data will be available for public consumption. But they’re really aimed at spurring telecommunications carriers and other technology companies to use it to develop apps or other technology tools they can offer to consumers to block robocalls.”
-- Janice Kopec, Attorney with the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Year after year robocalls continue to be the number one category of complaints received by the FTC each year. Nearly two million robocall complaints have already been filed in 2017.

According to the FTC’s Call-Blocking Solution announcement, "The consumer complaint data is crucial because many of today’s call-blocking solutions rely on ‘blacklists’ -- databases of telephone numbers that have received significant consumer complaints -- as one way to determine which calls should be blocked or flagged before they reach consumers’ phones."

The FTC Devises New Attack Strategy

Thus far, the FTC has used fines as a means for controlling robocallers and in the process inadvertently created a cottage industry for litigious TCPA lawsuits filed by serial litigators. Now, a new strategy is emerging to stop robocalls before they reach the consumers phones.

The key to their plan involves teaming with telecommunications carriers and technology companies to work on systems and software applications that target and block robocalls from telemarketers. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the FTC has begun connecting the frame. Soon the pieces will fit together to reveal the complete picture of their plan which, for telemarketers, won’t be pretty.

Businesses that choose to market using pre-recorded voice messages can limit the number of complaints that they receive by only calling with the proper consent, scrubbing Do Not Call lists, and honoring opt-outs. Implementing these best practices will help your business stay off the "blacklists."

A problem common to businesses that use telemarketing and ATDS is the confusion of choosing the correct TCPA “consent” requirement for calling on your leads. Contact Center Compliance has developed the simple solution for your business.  Download our free Quick Reference Guide for easy identification of the correct “consent” requirements under the TCPA based on the specific Call and Line Type of your lead data.

Your FREE complimentary compliance resource is only a click away.

Source: http://dnc.com/FTC-Escalates-Fight-Against-Robocallers

Publish Date: August 3, 2017 5:00 AM


FCC Proposes Database of Reassigned Phone Numbers

On July 13, 2017, the FCC took action to address the issue of robocalls to reassigned phone numbers. They recognize that businesses or other robocallers that unknowingly call a reassigned number can annoy the new consumer and deprive the intended consumer of an expected call. It also places the business at risk for potential fines and lawsuits if the business continues dialing the reassigned number.

In the Second Notice of Inquiry for Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls, the FCC voted to seek public comment on the idea of creating a comprehensive database of reassigned numbers. The intent is to provide businesses and other robocallers with a process for avoiding accidentally calling numbers which are no longer used by consumers who gave their consent to receive the calls.

The FCC uses a Notice of Inquiry to gather information on topics before making important rulemaking decisions. They are asking for feedback on whether voice service providers should report when a number is reassigned and how that data might be managed and utilized appropriately.  This includes questions aimed at addressing privacy and security issues.

Direct marketers at times will mistakenly call the wrong person. This issue is very common in situations when the phone number is reassigned from one consumer to another. Creation of a comprehensive reassigned phone number database for businesses and other robocallers could help prevent many unwanted calls that consumers currently receive. In addition, clarity will help callers communicate more effectively with consumers who have consented to such calls.

Initial comments are due on August 28, 2017 and reply comments are due on September 26, 2017. Following this public comment period, the FCC may move forward on further actions such as rulemakings. Any decisions by the commission are at least several months away. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available.

For now, you should check out TCPA Verification Scrub, a service offered by Contact Center Compliance. It is a cloud-based process that quickly and efficiently determines whether the cell phone owner that gave you permission to call is the same person you’re about to call.

To learn more about our TCPA Verification Scrub and other compliance services that are perfect for your business, sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (363-5478).

For additional information on the FCC’s proposal, please read FCC Proposes Call Blocking By Service Providers.

Source: http://dnc.com/FCC-Proposes-Database-of-Reassigned-Phone-Numbers

Publish Date: July 25, 2017 5:00 AM


August 2017 Holiday Call Restrictions

Calls to these states on restricted dates could result in a State violation: 

August 7th: Civic Holiday (Canada)

- Alberta
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nunavut
- Ontario
- Saskatchewan

August 14th: Victory Day

- Rhode Island

August 30th: Huey P. Long Day

- Louisiana

Source: http://dnc.com/August-2017-Holiday-Call-Restrictions

Publish Date: July 24, 2017 5:00 AM


Don’t Be Fooled: How Telemarketers Get Tricked Into Phony TCPA Lawsuits

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the new breed of litigator may be hiding in your marketing data. Serial litigators are experienced plaintiffs who know all the tricks to lure a telemarketing business into a TCPA lawsuit; or worse, an even more costly class action. Serial litigators could be anyone, including the person receiving your next marketing call.

When telemarketers speak with them on the phone, serial litigators pretend to be interested and even excited about your products. Don’t be fooled by one of their tricks. Beneath the friendly facade hides their true purpose. They seek to learn more about your business and collect enough evidence to file a lawsuit of alleged TCPA violations against you.

If you have used a third party telemarketing company to help generate business within the last four years, chances are your business has already been exposed to the potential abuse of a serial litigator.

The Court Fight … Can You Really Win?

Many TCPA lawsuits are frivolous or fraudulent, created by ambitions lawyers and predatory plaintiffs to intimate businesses into quick financial settlements. In today’s courts your business may not be arguing to prove your adherence to the best TCPA and DNC compliance practices. In fact, a trial may be the last thing you want, even if you are in the right. As a business owner, you must decide if the satisfaction of proving your innocence in court is worth the financial risk of potentially losing your business or burying it beneath an insurmountable mountain of debt.

The cost for a business to build a solid defense in a class action can be upwards of $500,000. In such cases, even if you win the lawsuit you will have lost the time and money used to build your defense. Worst yet, the debt from court costs may take your business down a path toward financial ruin. Most businesses will weigh the projected court cost against a quick (less costly) settlement and choose the least painful option, regardless of guilt. A settlement is more often the preferred choice.

The TCPA has created a new industry for predatory serial litigators.

Two TCPA Class Actions Filed … Same Day … Same Plaintiff

A recent example showing just how bad it has gotten can be seen in a pair of recent TCPA class action lawsuits in the California federal courts. They were filed against Marriott International and Gallup Inc. on behalf of Jason Hartley on April 18, 2017.

What makes these two TCPA class action cases unique? Both lawsuits were filed on the same day against two separate unrelated businesses, one law firm filed both lawsuits, and one plaintiff was named as representative of the class in both lawsuits. Could bulk filings become the new norm for serial litigators?

To get the complete picture, below are brief summaries of Mr. Hartley’s allegations against both businesses. Notice the similarities.

  1. Marriott lawsuit: Mr. Hartley alleged that his cell phone was called repeatedly with vacation offers which included a prerecorded message congratulating him on being a contest winner. He claimed that during one such call he selected the option that would place him on the internal DNC list of the caller. Still, he received calls.
  2. Gallup lawsuit: Mr. Hartley alleged that he was “harassed” by their automatic telephone dialing system with calls made on behalf of Union Bank to his cell phone. He claimed to have not visited Union Bank nor provided consent to receive calls. He felt that his privacy was being infringed upon.

Mr. Hartley claimed that both companies called his cell phone despite the fact that he had been on the National DNC since 2004. He claimed the unwanted calls he received were in violation of the TCPA and seeks damages for $500 for each negligent violation of the TCPA and $1,500 for each knowing and/or willful violation of the TCPA.

TCPA Lawsuits ... Welcome to the “Cookie-Cutter” Era

Read the complaints filed by Mr. Hartley for both the Marriott Lawsuit and Gallup Lawsuit. You’ll notice the “cookie-cutter” approach used in preparing the documents for this pair of TCPA lawsuits. In fact, many passages read verbatim between the two.

Because the TCPA regulations are very narrowly focused and contain several points of ambiguity, it is easy to file complaints of TCPA violations against any business. This has presented a challenge for the defense in court. It has become common for attorneys to ask the judge to provide additional clarification for the definitions of terms that are not clear in the TCPA regulations in order to dispute the plaintiff’s allegations.

In Mr. Hartley’s lawsuit, his claims of TCPA violations against the two companies share the following themes which are common to most TCPA cases:

  1. He did not give prior expressed consent to receive calls.
  2. An automatic dialer was used to play prerecorded messages.
  3. He incurred charges for incoming calls.
  4. He suffered an invasion of his legally protected interest in privacy.

 

Complaints against Marriott and Gallup show that compliance should be a concern to all companies. For now, we watch as these two cases journey through the legal system, but be prepared for the likely settlement that only encourages the next serial litigator to file another complaint with more to follow.

Any business that uses telemarketing must be on alert at all times. You must take precautions that safeguard your businesses against serial litigators and ensure compliance with all TCPA and DNC regulatory standards. Working with a reputable compliance provider that maintains current data on known serial litigators is an invaluable asset for the preemptive removal of predatorily plaintiffs before beginning your next telemarketing campaign. An excellent start is to sign-up for a complimentary strategy session with Contact Center Compliance. It’s an inexpensive solution to an expensive problem.

Serial Litigator’s Earning Approach $1 Million

TCPA class action filings continue to climb. Since 2011 TCPA lawsuits have risen 500%. In 2016 alone, there were nearly 5,000 TCPA lawsuits. It is a scary number projected increase in the coming years.

Attorneys and judges in TCPA class action lawsuits are well aware of the trend that has created an industry of professional plaintiffs and serial litigators. In a surprise move, defense attorneys are beginning to fight back. The defense has begun to shift their questions toward the motivations behind each plaintiff for filing their lawsuit in the first place.

Meet Serial Litigator Jan Konopca: 31 Lawsuits Filed

For a change, the defendant is on the offense against the serial litigator in this recent New Jersey case in the federal court. The attorneys for Comcast, the defendant, are seeking the prior depositions that Mr. Konopca gave in similar TCPA cases. Even though Jan Konopca has filed 31 lawsuits, he has only given his deposition four times. His other cases were quick to settle by defendants seeking to avoid the expense of going to trial.

It is important to note that one of the reasons serial litigators seek a settlement is because they do not want to provide sworn testimony in a deposition for the trial. They know their statements could come back to haunt them when they initiate claims of TCPA violation against another business.

During the hearing, Comcast presented evidence against Mr. Konopca that showed, over a three year period, he had made only 142 outgoing calls from his cell phones. Attention was drawn to the fact that during the same time period, he received nearly 25,000 incoming calls. This detail called into question the true purpose for his cell phones. Recall that the statute of limitations for TCPA claims is four years, which brought up an important question for the court. Was the true intent of Mr. Konopca’s cell phones to receive as many wrong calls as possible over a period of years? 

Mr. Konopca stated that he owned three cell phones. Their combined usage caused him to exceed his 1,000-minute-per-month plan, resulting in an extra $96 in charges. Those charges provided him with the legal cause of action against the marketers who called his cell phones.

In one particularly sneaky move, Mr. Konopca had his landline phone number converted into a cell phone number.  Under the TCPA, calls to his landline would NOT give him a cause of action under the TCPA, but calls to a cell phone potentially would. In his defense Mr. Konopca claimed not to be under the direction of any attorneys when he converted that phone number, but did so for the convenience of his elderly mother who was more familiar with using the landline phone number. Such a thoughtful son, don’t you think.

Earning From TCPA Lawsuits Exceeded $800,000

The evidence against him continued to mount. Mr. Konopca assured the court that he was “not motivated by greed” and that his phone history should not cause him to lose legal standing.

Attention then turned toward his past income. Attorneys for Comcast presented evidence that in 2009 Mr. Konopca made less than $30,000 working construction. Though he was later sidelined by a work related injury, he qualified for Social Security disability benefits. Now after filing multiple TCPA lawsuits and receiving settlements in excess of $800,000, he no longer qualifies for those benefits.

The gluttony of serial litigators who use the legal system for their own enrichment is more common than ever before. The TCPA was designed to protect consumers not be an income opportunity for what could be termed legalized extortion.

Big businesses with deep pockets can afford large court settlements or may already have a team of defense attorneys on payroll.  For the rest of us, a low cost alternative can preemptively remove serial litigators from your data before your marketing campaign begins and the first telemarketing call is even made.

LITIGATOR SCRUB: DON’T BE THE NEXT VICTIM

More important than ever before, you must protect your business from serial litigators who threaten to undermine your legitimate marketing activities. As predatory litigators become more numerous and the financial rewards greater, we enter a new era of legal maneuvers and technological sophistication. That is why it is important to scrub your marketing data of serial litigators on a regular basis, before your next telemarketing campaign.

Contact Center Compliance’s Litigator Scrub provides the solution that protects your business from known serial litigators before they serve you with a costly class action lawsuit.

Litigator Scrub* will clean your marketing data without compromising your lists.

To learn more about these and other compliance services, sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (363-5478).

*Litigator Scrub is winner of the 2017 PACE Technovation Award for Enterprise Edition with Litigator Scrub and TCPA Verification.

Source: http://dnc.com/Dont-Be-Fooled-Telemarketers-Tricked-Into-Phony-TCPA-Lawsuits

Publish Date: July 17, 2017 5:00 AM


FCC Proposes Call Blocking By Service Providers

The FTC announced its support for the FCC’s effort to expand the definition of what constitutes an illegal call, continuing their trend to make life more difficult for telemarketers and robocallers. In recent months, the FCC has released two notices of proposed rulemaking that could significantly affect the direct marketing industry. The rules would allow all voice service providers – including wireless providers and VoIP providers – to block illegal robocalls before they reach consumers.

“By stopping this type of spoofing, the FCC can cut down on the efficacy of such scams, likely saving consumers across the country millions of dollars.”
– Comment from 30 state attorneys general supporting the proposal.

The FCC submitted the proposal entitled Advanced Methods To Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls in May 2017. Formally addressing the issue was prompted by consumer complaints relating to recent phone scams, often involving spoofed numbers. After some deliberation, a second notice of inquiry was added as part of the same proposed rules document in June that addresses reassigned numbers.

As Proposed By The FCC

The FCC’s proposal sought comments on rules to authorize the following two categories of provider-based call blocking to prevent fraudulent calls:

  1. Selective Call Blocking by Service Providers. The subscriber to a particular telephone number could request that telecommunications providers block calls originating from that number. The proposed rule would allow providers of telephone services to block calls: (i) upon request of the subscriber to the originating number, on the presumption that such a call is “spoofed”; (ii) from invalid numbers; (iii) from numbers that are not allocated to any voice service provider; and (iv) from numbers that are allocated to a provider, but have not been assigned to any subscriber.
  2. Reassigned Numbers Database. This would create a comprehensive list of reassigned phone numbers that marketers could access to ensure that they don't mistakenly call a number that has been reassigned to someone other than the intended recipient of the call. It is estimated that 100,000 numbers are reassigned by wireless carriers every day. This proposal has broad support among both robocallers and consumers who could benefit from its creation.

The FCC’s questions center on how it should define “illegal robocalls” for purposes of any new call-blocking rule. It currently proposes to include calls that are banned under the TCPA or the Truth in Caller ID Act, but seeks input on whether this definition would exclude any legitimate callers. Comments on the first proposed rule were due July 3, 2017, but replies can be filed until July 31, 2017.

The second proposal regarding the reassigned phone numbers database hasn't been officially published in the Federal Register, so there isn't yet a due date for comments.

In Conclusion

At present, carriers are required to complete all calls on their networks. The proposed FCC rule would allow carriers to block calls at the network level when requested by the owner of the phone number.

The FCC’s intent is to help prevent fraudulent calls from callers who “spoof” a legitimate number – manipulate incoming Caller ID information so that a call appears to be coming from the legitimate number when in fact it originates with the fraudulent caller. It would also prevent callers from shielding their actual number with an invalid number (for instance, a number using an unassigned area code) or an unassigned number that cannot be called back or traced.

Any new rules issued by the FCC will significantly impact compliance with the TPCA. Keeping current with every evolving rule and regulatory requirement is becoming more and more difficult for any telemarketer who wants to avoid lawsuits and fines for inadvertent violations. That is why it is important to work with a respected compliance provider like Contact Center Compliance who has maintained a 100% track record for over ten years with no fines, no violations, and no lawsuits.

Contact Center Compliance manages all regulatory changes for you, keeps your data compliant, and allows your business to focus on marketing to your file.  Let us work together to customize your compliance solution. Sign up for a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members or contact us at support@dnc.com or call us at 866-DNC-LIST (363-5478).

Source: http://dnc.com/FCC-Proposes-Call-Blocking-By-Service-Providers

Publish Date: July 10, 2017 5:00 AM

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

ABOUT US IN 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
CMS =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =