When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its new interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 2015, consumer-facing organizations from financial institutions to healthcare practices expressed concern. The ACA International’s suit against the FCC remains in a sort of legal limbo, causing all similar suits to follow its lead.
Several consumer-based petitions have also been filed with the FCC. On the surface, the documents seem to request that the FCC clarify TCPA consent rules. However, they primarily aim to require “prior express written consent” for all calls, not just telemarketing ones, made to mobile and residential phones. If passed, the debt collection industry could see increased difficulty in collecting debts.
Other suits filed by consumers haven’t helped the situation. The outcome of Reyes’ case against Lincoln, for instance, seems at odds with other suits. The court explained its decision to support the lender, saying Reyes (plaintiff) gave “prior express written consent” via the lease agreement while other consumers gave it “gratuitously” during an application process. In any case “the Second Circuit recognized that businesses may insert consent clauses into standard sales contracts ‘thereby making revocation impossible in many instances,’ but held that this “hypothetical concern” would be for Congress to resolve, not the Courts.” Could this be good news for the Buy Here Pay Here model?
Current litigation isn’t the only concern, either. New FCC leadership has organizations wondering which way the TCPA wind will blow. Chairman Ajit Pai appears friendly to businesses and their concerns, but no one can predict how he’ll affect the FCC and TCPA.
“The common thread here is that in practice the TCPA has strayed far from its original purpose. … We could be establishing a safe harbor so that carriers could block spoofed calls from overseas without fear of liability. And we could be shutting down the abusive lawsuits by closing the legal loopholes that trial lawyers have exploited to target legitimate communications between businesses and consumers.”—Ajit Pai, Dissenting Statement
All in all, the situation causes considerable hesitance for organizations using phones and other communication channels to contact consumers. They worry about TCPA compliance and seek avenues to ensure it. One of those methods is easy to deploy: cloud contact center solutions.
Cloud Contact Center Solutions and TCPA Compliance
Some organizations invest in cloud-based tools because of benefits like cost savings and scalability. Both advantages are fact, not fiction. Additionally, cloud contact center solutions typically deliver a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). They also “scale” with an organization, meaning the solution contracts and expands in response to the business’ or organization’s needs. Tools like TCN’s Platform 3.0 automate calling windows, scrub cell phones from dialing campaigns, and a variety of other baked-in solutions help safeguard contact centers from unnecessary risk, putting control in the hands of those who know best.
Cell Phone Scrubbing and Predictive Dialing
Cloud contact center solutions provide other unique features that help better TCPA compliance, too. For example, TCN’s platform offers Cell Phone Scrubbing, which not only removes cell phone numbers from a call list but also helps to prevent them from accidentally reappearing on it. The platform’s Predictive Dialer works within the bounds of the TCPA, too, automatically disconnecting when an answering machine is reached and guaranteeing a customer receives a limited number of calls, always within a preferred time slot.
TCN’s cloud contact center solution also features API Integrations for leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and other software. The converged systems help keep data clean and prevent “Do Not Call” consumers from somehow reappearing on an agent’s or collector’s contact list.
TCPA Compliance Suite
As a finishing touch, TCN incorporates the Compliance Suite as a value-add component. For agencies and companies working within highly regulated verticals, the Suite helps deliver TCPA compliance and peace of mind. The Suite essentially locks down communications, requiring agents and debt collectors to manually approve inbound and outbound calls, scrub cell phone records, and lock down IP addresses.
Staying compliant in today’s world is a puzzle. Let TCN help your organization piece it together with its cloud contact center solutions and TCPA Compliance Checklist.