TCPA Regulations: Facts Call Centers Should Know
What are TCPA regulations? Follow these tips for your contact center to avoid costly compliance violations. FCC regulations for call center compliance can be confusing, contradictory and difficult to follow. The government, for its part, shows little mercy for those who violate the rules. In 2014 alone, there were more than 2,300 lawsuits just for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) regulations. Since being updated in 2016, a single violation of the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC) can cost up to $40,000!
When you don’t keep up on the latest call center compliance best practices, you risk consumer complaints that could cost you expensive fines, new customers and even your business. Since October 2014, the FCC logged nearly half a million (340,000) complaints from consumers who received unwanted telephone solicitations from call centers. The FCC even publishes the numbers (thereby identifying the companies) for whom they have received consumer complaints!
TCPA Regulations and Call Center ComplianceThe laws that govern call centers are complex and fluid. The FCC frequently puts new TCPA regulations in place while class actions and fines grow in both number and amount. Staying current with the law reduces your risk of violations, prevents loss of profit and actually increases your conversion rates.
There are many TCPA regulations, but it is important to keep these key requirements in mind:
- You must maintain your own in-house Do Not Call List allowing potential customers to opt-out of receiving unwanted calls from your business.
- All state-level Do Not Call Lists and state-wide moratoriums on sales calls to cell phones must be honored.
- You are obligated to honor the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Based on your business model you must follow additional constraints of the TCPA, such as certain restrictions on auto dialers, artificial or prerecorded voices (robocalls), text messages (SMS) and faxes.
- You must properly follow PCI-DSS regulations for maintaining, storing and transmitting credit card information.
- When calling for medical centers, you are obligated to protect patient information by following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regarding the sharing of personal health information.
- Content of calls that fall under HIPAA must follow the Minimum Necessary Requirement
- Any call made for a medical setting must also comply with all TCPA requirements.
Call Center Compliance and Cell PhonesOne of the trickiest conditions of the TCPA regulations is the prohibition on using auto dialers to call cell phones without “express prior consent” from the person you’re calling. Before you call, you need to know the type of phone number you’re calling and whether the owner of that number has given permission for you to contact them on their cell phone. Recent survey data indicates that 52% of U.S. homes are cell phone only. When they narrowed the focus to Millennials that number rose to a whopping 71%. Considering the decline of landlines in favor of cell phones, it is imperative that you not only know who is safe to call, but how you’re allowed to call. How can you be sure you’re in compliance?
Vox CNI Helps with TCPA Regulations ComplianceVoxtelesys has developed a tool to specifically address the problem of auto dialers and cell phones. The Vox CNI system automatically scrubs cell phone numbers from your calling list to make sure you’re compliant with the TCPA regulations.
Don’t let massive fines and penalties motivate you to improve your call center compliance. Contact us today!