341 Million Reasons to Take Contact Center TCPA Compliance Seriously
When it comes to contact center TCPA compliance, ignorance is costly. The phrase “turning a blind eye” dates back over 200 years and stems from an incident involving a British naval admiral named Horatio Nelson. Admiral Nelson, who was blind in one eye, was a feisty fighter with an independent streak. During the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, the commander of British forces signaled through a system of flags he wanted to discontinue the attack. When Admiral Nelson learned of the order, he purposely placed his telescope upon his blind eye so he could honestly say, “I really do not see the signal.” His ship continued the battle which led to an armistice, and Nelson was eventually made commander-in-chief of the British fleet for his actions.
It is a classic story of risk vs. reward. However, based on recent civil court rulings, companies that turn a blind eye toward contact center TCPA compliance are being punished severely. Even if they don’t have direct knowledge that TCPA violations are being committed, the company is held responsible. If you have Admiral Nelsons on your team playing fast and loose with TCPA statutes, don’t expect leniency from judge or jury.
The Painful Lessons Learned by Dish TVIn January of 2017, a jury ruled that DISH Network had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) after its marketing agency, SSN, called numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry. The class-action suit revealed over 51,000 calls broke this cardinal rule. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $400 per violation, amounting to $20.5 million.
However, that wasn’t the end. The TCPA allows the court discretion to triple the damages if they establish the actions were willful. The court later declared Dish’s actions were willful, although agents from SSN were the ones manning the phone banks. Suddenly, that $20.5 million jab mushroomed into a $61 million haymaker.
In a separate recent case, the court ordered Dish to pay $280 million for using robocalls to consumers on DNC lists. The court determined DISH made more than 55 million illegal calls. This ruling also included a prohibition against breaking TCPA rules going forward and a 20-year-plan to supervise its telemarketing efforts.
Dish currently must fork over $341 million, even though contractors and sub-contractors were the ones making the calls. Turning a blind eye turned into one of the costliest errors in telemarketing history.
Staying Out of CourtYour business should take note of what these decisions reveal regarding the general opinion of the court. Accidents will happen. But, without a way to prove active steps for contact center TCPA compliance, your business is in unnecessary jeopardy. The courts want to know:
- Are your TCPA infractions one-off occurrences, or do they seem to happen repeatedly?
- Are you aware of what your agents are doing? Do you have an auditing system in place?
- Do you have a policy and program detailing what happens when an individual files a complaint about unsolicited and/or unwanted calls?
- How do you maintain your call records and stay in sync with federal and state DNC registries?
Protecting Contact Center TCPA ComplianceIf your business—or an agency you hire to do marketing work for your business—unknowingly calls mobile and wireless customers without the prior express written consent required by the FCC, you are liable.
We developed Vox CNI (Cellular Number Identification) so you can:
- Easily scrub your lists in real-time
- Generate reports to audit and verify contact center TCPA compliance, and
- Integrate your CNI-related contact center TCPA compliance tasks directly with autodialer platforms, like SpitFire