By Angela Garfinkel, Principal of Quality Voice & Data
On August 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release stating it would begin using consumer compliants to ramp-up its efforts in stamping out illegal robocalls. According to the FTC, unwanted and illegal robocalls are a persistent problem for consumers, providers, and the FTC, with over 1.9 million consumer complaints filed in the first five months of 2017.
Quality Voice & Data (QVD) offers Local Caller ID Numbers and Caller ID Management solutions to telemarketers, debt collectors, market researchers and virtually every type of business that places outbound calls in large scale. To ensure absolute compliance with all regulations, QVD works closely with MacMurray & Shuster to monitor actions and developments from the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the various state regulatory and legislative bodies that could impact our Caller ID customers.
Why should telemarketers be concerned about this initiative being led by the FTC? Because, according to MacMurray & Shuster, “When consumers report a telephone number associated with alleged Do Not Call or robocall violations, the caller’s phone number will be released to telecommunications carriers and other industry affiliates. Complaint information will be released daily. While the FTC initiaitive is intended to aid in implementing call blocking solutions, it is unclear if the FTC has implemented any processes or procedures to determine if the consumer complaints are valid before releasing phone numbers.”
What can telemarketers, fund raisers, debt colectors, market researchers and others that use the telephone to place outbound calls do? One of the key factors that causes complaints (and could cause a complaint that includes your campaign’s Caller ID phone number) is the number of times you call a consumer and how much time lapses between those calls. If your dialer is set to dial 10, 15, 20 times over a short period of time, you are very likely to get complaints filed with the FTC, especially if you are conducting Robocalls (which by the way, most Robocalls are illegal and should not be utilized as a calling method). I recommend setting your max attempts at no more than 10 attempts within a 30 day window and when possible, space the attempts across the 30 days as much as you can.
Another way to generate complaints is to place thousands, hundreds of thousands or more phone calls using the same Caller ID number. Many consumers can easily look on the web to see who owns a phone number and why you are calling. If many others have complainted about you online, then they are more likely to file a complaint to try to stop your call activity. Many savvy outbound calling companies and professionals ensure proper Caller ID Management by using many Caller ID phone numbers during a call campaign. This helps decrease the potential impact of any one given Caller ID phone number in the market.
There are many articles and resources on our website about Caller ID Management best practices including:
The bottom line is that illegal robocalls are hurting legitimate telemarketing organizations because consumers hate robocalls and they generate a lot of complaints. The FTC and the FCC have a very difficult time trying to address these robocall complaints without also impacting legitmate telemarketing calls. It is imperative that you use every tool available to see if you’re using Caller ID numbers that are seen as “spam” or deemed by the FTC as blacklisted. Email [email protected] today if you want to get your Caller ID numbers checked for FREE.
Angela Garfinkel is one of the principals of Quality Voice & Data, a specialized telecom solutions provider for the outbound marketing, call center, collections and market research industries. In addition, Angela is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization with a telemanagement model. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented and highly engaged team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela can be reached at [email protected] or 516.656.5118.