FOUR KEY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO MEET WHEN USING AUTOMATED DIALERS

23 September 2020

AUTHORED BY: Andy Watson

A previous blog post described the advantages and disadvantages of using outbound dialers. Businesses use automated dialers to use resources more efficiently and increase the number of calls per day. However, there are numerous legal implications to consider, and violators can be fined up to $42,530 per call!

What are the regulatory rules for outbound dialing, and what can businesses do to ensure they do not place any illegal calls?

CALL ABANDONMENT RATE

One of the advantages of a Predictive dialer is the ability to call multiple customers at the same time, with the assumption that a certain percentage of those calls will not be answered. For example, the business may set a dialing ratio of 5 calls per service representative. When a customer answers, the contact center will connect a service representative to them.

However, what happens if more calls are answered than representatives are available? If there is no one on the line within 2 seconds, the call is considered abandoned. By law, less than 3% of calls can be abandoned per month. Any company that surpasses this 3% threshold can be subject to federal and local fines.

CALLER ID PRESENTATION

When making outbound calls, businesses are required to provide the phone number and (if available) company name for Caller ID presentation. The FCC forbids deliberately sending misleading or inaccurate identification to the consumer.

The business number and name can be substituted in some cases. For example, a service representative from one company may make calls on behalf of another. However, the law requires the number presented to be reachable during regular business hours.

DO NOT CALL REGISTRIES

Many countries allow consumers to register their number(s) with a Do Not Call (DNC) registry to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls. While the registry governs sales calls, it does not prevent other types of calls:

  • Political calls
  • Charitable calls
  • Debt collection calls
  • Informational or survey calls

RESTRICTED CALLING DAYS AND TIMES

The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) prevents telemarketing calls before 8 AM and after 9 PM. Also, there are state-specific regulations regarding holidays and temporary periods of local emergency (such as a hurricane) in which outbound calls are not permitted.

HELPING BUSINESSES TO COMPLY WITH DIALING REGULATIONS

Businesses wanting to ensure compliance with these regulations can benefit from a modern contact center as a service solution. For example, here is how Mavenir’s Mobile Business Contact can address the requirements above:

  • Call abandonment rate: The Predictive dialer ratio can quickly be adjusted to stay within drop limits. The advanced reporting engine can automatically send alerts when the abandonment rate for an outbound campaign approaches or surpasses the 3% threshold. An administrator can use the Admin portal to modify the dialing ratio, and those changes will instantly be applied to the system.
  • Caller ID presentation: Each outbound campaign is attached to a phone number that is presented to the customer. Whether the representative is an employee of the company or calling on behalf of it, the customer will always see the same number. The outbound number can also be used for inbound campaigns so that it can be reachable during business hours.
  • Do not call registries: Businesses that purchase the National Do Not Call Registry list (or its equivalent in other countries) can integrate it with the Mobile Business Contact platform. This is done in the backend using the Open API Engine. From there, Administrators simply click a checkbox in each campaign to apply DNC regulation.
  • Restricted calling days and times: Once DNC regulation is turned on, no additional configuration is required to comply with federal and local calling policies. The system automatically applies the rules for legal calling windows, including state and time zone detection.

Learn more about how Mobile Business Contact can ensure businesses stay in compliance with dialer regulations at https://www.mobilebusinessfabric.com/contact

Andy Watson
Andy Watson
Andy Watson
Product Marketing Manager of Business Mobility Solutions. Andy has two decades of experience in the telecom industry with Nortel, Ericsson, and GENBAND (now Ribbon Communications) working various roles in technical documentation, program management, and new product introduction. He joined Mavenir in 2018 to help drive products and solutions that will enable mobile operators to provide innovative, adaptive solutions to their customers.