The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), created to protect consumers from unsolicited and inconvenient phone calls, faxes, and texts, requires businesses dialing wireless numbers through Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS) for the purpose of soliciting sales to proceed with extreme caution. Defined as equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator, and can dial such numbers, ATDSs have become a staple within the contact center space, as they offer businesses the following benefits:
- 50% increase in sales
- 100% growth in profits
- 400% improvement in agent productivity
But while extremely practical, improper use of such systems can put enterprises in jeopardy of violating TCPA, with penalties ranging from $500-$1,500 per instance, depending on whether the violation was “willful” or “known”. To put this into perspective, a 25-agent call center dialing normal predictive rates can generate over $10 million in penalties in a single day. And customers aren’t hesitant to report these violations—in fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receives close to 18,000 complaints per year.
Does TCPA apply to my business?
Any business contacting a wireless device for the purpose of soliciting sales is bound by TCPA regulations. And while many assume they are exempt from TCPA regulations, simply because they are not using what typically constitutes as an “Auto-Dialer” to contact their leads and prospects, many courts have recently ruled cell phones (you heard me, cell phones) as ATDS devices. This means that any business using a cell phone to contact the mobile devices of individuals that have not given Express Written Prior Consent could, in fact, be violating TCPA regulations, and could be subject to the same fines and infractions.
How to Proceed: While the ramifications of violating TCPA regulations can be significant, they should not scare businesses out of using auto-dialers. Contact center managers and supervisors should be aware that there are a few simple ways they can successfully navigate TCPA compliance, while obtaining all the benefits of an automatic dialing solution.