TCPA compliance is serious business
Lessons learned from a top Fortune 500 company
Few phrases evoke instant anxiety in business like the words “class-action lawsuit.” Yet, that’s exactly what many companies are being faced with under the recently amended Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Though it has always included tight restrictions on telemarketers, as many companies have learned, the latest update to the Act requires prior express written consent for all autodialed and pre-recorded telemarketing calls or texts to cell phones, and pre-recorded calls made to residential land lines for telemarketing purposes. When you’re using an auto-dialer, it can be difficult to consistently and accurately distinguish between the different types of phone lines.
This is where businesses can quickly get into trouble, as statutory penalties for non-compliance can cost up to $500 per call, or up to $1,500 for each willful violation per instance or call attempt.
Creating a process for better TCPA compliance
Take the recent case of an Equifax customer—a Fortune 500 company—that found itself facing both class-action and individual TCPA lawsuits. To mitigate future risk and additional lawsuits, it had to find a way to distinguish between residential, mobile and voice over IP (VOIP) numbers prior to calling on consumers to help ensure that each phone type is handled according to TCPA regulations.
But there was more. For the mobile numbers that it had prior consent to call, the company needed to know if those numbers had been deactivated by the carrier and reassigned to another consumer with whom it had no relationship, a process known as phone number recycling.
Together, we worked to help create a process for identifying phone types as mobile, landline or VOIP prior to outbound calling, which was a big step toward stronger TCPA compliance.
Of course, the details tell a deeper story about how the company tested and analyzed its contact data to discover what percent of its phone numbers were wireless, and of those numbers, which ones had been recycled (no longer owned by the account holder) or ported (may still belong to the account holder, but the carrier and/or number type has changed). Download the full case study here.
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