Tue, 02/10/2015 - 15:57
Debriefing on 2014 PACE Leadership Summit
In the fall of 2014, participants converged at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill to hear from key speakers regarding developments in telemarketing law and regulation. I had the pleasure to attend the conference with our friends at Contact Center Compliance (DNC.com). Speakers included representatives from the FCC, FTC and CFPB, as well as panels of private attorneys and industry leaders.
Noteworthy presentations include that of Mark Stone, Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the FCC. Stone made clear that the FCC intends to respond to the pending TCPA petitions, and that they will focus their efforts first on responses which will have the most broad effect. Stone specifically acknowledged the FCC's awareness of the petition filed by PACE regarding the definition of an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS).
Stone also reminded participants to expect updates regarding the impending Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) no-call list in the near future.
3 speakers from the FTC emphasized that robocalls and DNC-related complaints continue to flood the Commission on a daily basis. Particularly, complaints regarding offers related to credit card interest rate reduction, home protection and medal alert devices. The FTC intends to continue aggressive enforcement against companies who ignore the dialer and DNC rules, especially in cases which include a fraud component. FTC speakers also indicated the need for B2B telemarketers to scrub out home-based businesses on the national DNC list, something few B2B call centers seem to do.
Anther one of the more memorable presentations was that by a panel which included consumer plaintiff's attorney Sergei Lemberg. Lemberg has been consistently rated the nation's most active consumer attorney since 2011. Lemberg said his office evaluates approximately 250 cases per month. They file numerous individual and class action cases every month, many of which relate to the TCPA. Lemberg pointed out that a key way to reduce litigation is to make a special effort not to anger call recipients with multiple calls in a single day and calls after an internal DNC request.
Interestingly, Lemberg states that while he generally feels that all dialers are audialers, certain new technologies related to preview dialing "give him pause" regarding the ATDS issue.
My personal biggest takeaway was the need to go above and beyond regarding call center compliance in this regulatory environment. Although regulators hint at some TCPA clarifications in the near future, the changes are not likely to revolutionize the law in a positive way.