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.
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