Feb 19 2017 Your Business Should Care About The “Do Not Call” Registry, And Here’s Why



Does your company or organization engage in any “proactive” outreach strategies to potential or existing customers? If the answer is yes, this blog is for you, because you need to know where you stand with federal and state “do not call” (and other affiliated) rules.

But since there is a lot of ground I can cover with this subject, I am limiting my discussion today to the national “Do Not Call” list.

What Is the Federal “Do Not Call” List?

Not being fans of burying the lede, the federal government took a blunt approach when naming the “Do Not Call” registry. But if you’re still in the dark, it’s when Susan decides she’s tired being asked if she wants to take a survey at 6:30 p.m., when she’s trying to keep her 4-year-old daughter from giving herself a “pretty princess” haircut, while also making dinner. In her frustration, she slams down the phone. She marches over to her laptop, navigates to the FTC website, completes this form and then goes forth to embark upon a survey-free future.

As with any piece of regulation, there are lots and lots (and lots) of rules that govern calls from businesses to consumers. To the point where many legal firms across this great nation make a substantial human capital investment in thoroughly understanding those rules. That means there is nothing that I can say in this blog or any other that should override what your counsel instructs.  I am a lot of things. I am technologist, generalist, gentleman and scholar, but I am not an attorney.

Broadly speaking, however, your organization may very likely end up owing extremely steep penalties and fines if you’re caught violating “Do Not Call” and other associated TSR or TCPA provisions. And since you can’t shrug your shoulders and plead plausible deniability to something that is against the law, you can’t afford to ignore what these regulations say and how they impact your business.

Let’s Talk Risk Tolerance

Much of what determines your decision for “Do Not Call” is based on who you are calling and your risk tolerance. There is a process for a consumer to follow to register a complaint. Your risk tolerance may be such that you believe your calls will be considered infrequent or unobtrusive, so Susan may think you’re annoying, but not disruptive to be worth the effort of reporting you.

Personally, I’m not risk averse. I’m famously risk aware.

So what factors are used to determine whether not a call is in violation? Quite a few, but some of them include target area code, relationship between your company and the consumer, time of day, day of week, day of month, and target state. In the past, I have consulted Contact Center Compliance to dig down into compliance issues. (Of course, it’s not always about “Do Not Call” issues, and I did not gain access to the federal list through the service.)

How to Make Smart Choices

Okay back to the original question. Why should you care? One reason, which I have already mentioned, is that violations can carry a hefty, negative financial impact.

But the best reason is that people have taken the time to enter their telephone number on the “Do Not Call” list – which many believe to be a nonsolicitation list – because they do not want to receive telemarketing calls. And if it were me, I don’t want to waste my time or contact center resources bothering someone who has gone out of their way to make it abundantly clear they don’t want to hear from me.

However, just because a phone number is on the “Do Not Call” list, the owner of that number may, in some cases, desire to receive solicitation calls. You know this as a telemarketer because the person has taken the time to give you his or her phone number and, assuming that the information capture is correctly structured, given you permission to ignore this person’s entry on the “Do Not Call” list. But depending on the state this permission may not override additional state restrictions on calling.

So why do you care about the “Do Not Call” registry? Because it is good business.