Do Not Call Compliance Laws Companies Should Know
The Do Not Call registry was created for consumers who did not want to receive unsolicited messages and calls from service providers and telemarketers. Registration to DNC is free and can be done at any time.
Except for exempts, telemarketers cannot call individuals whose numbers are listed in the registry. Failure to comply results in being fined for every call you make without permission from a consumer.
Telemarketers must understand the repercussions of not obliging to DNC laws. Therefore, let us discuss tips a company can use to ensure an effective Do not call compliance laws to everybody.
1. Federal and State Registries
A consumer can register their phone number via the national registry or state registry. Some states have DNC rules that slightly differ from federal rules. However, it is mandatory that companies engaging with telemarketing delete consumers’ numbers from their call lists.
They are given 31 days after a consumer registers their phone number to the DNC registry. Although some states have embraced federal rules, some have not. Companies must check and familiarize themselves with federal and state registries laws.
Companies have to abide by both rules. Some states allow their consumers to file lawsuits against companies if there is a violation of DNC and TCPA laws at the state level. Companies engaged in telemarketing must ensure their employees cross-check federal and state lists before sending any messages or making calls to consumers to ensure total compliance and avoid any DNC violations.
2. Established Business Relationship Exception
An established business relationship is a relationship that is formed between a business and a person based on a person’s previous transaction with the entity. The relationship is formed 18 months immediately after the day a call, transaction, or inquiry was made between the individual and the business.
Federal DNC laws are lenient to companies making calls to their recent customers who made inquiries to the company. However, when making these calls, the company must prove that they have an established business relationship with the consumer and have issued a notice asking not to be called.
Note that states can have different regulations concerning EBR exceptions. Some have more restrictive regulations than federal policies, while some states have harmonized their laws with the national level.
Some of these state restrictions on EBR exceptions are in a shorter period; EBR is created within the first 12 months and not 18 months. Another restrictive EBR measure is that communication should not be made on the grounds of consumer inquiry.
Companies should ensure they know states with these restrictions to avoid any violations. Read more here https://www3.erie.gov/consumerprotection/do-not-call.
3. Policies and Procedures
Companies do always make telemarketing calls to consumers directly. Most have a third party that makes calls and sends messages on their behalf. Therefore, they must have their own updated internal lists from all databases to track opt-outs and maintain company DNC policies.
They must stop calling and sending messages if a consumer requests or registers with Do Not Call. According to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), companies should implement specific policies to ensure effective DNC compliance. These include a written policy of the company’s list that is readily available on demand.
Another policy is recording requests from consumers who do not want to receive calls from the company and respecting the request within the stipulated period. Companies and third-party entities should train their employees to maximize confidentiality, implementations, and policies made. Company-specific policies and procedures help in ensuring compliance with the law.
4. DNC and TCPA Autodialer Compliance
Companies engaged with telemarketing should stop assuming that solely complying with DNC rules is enough. They must oblige to both DNC and TCPA laws. Some requirements between the two may be separate and patent.
For example, with TCPA, companies must have written or express consent from their consumers before sending prerecorded messages and robocalls. Even if it is not highlighted in the federal registry, the company must have written consent before sending robocalls.
The same applies when contacting EBR consumers. You are allowed only to make manual calls and not autodialed calls without written or express consent from the consumer. Companies must consider both DNC and TCPA compliances to avoid any litigation risks. Click here to read more.
Companies must maintain their efforts on compliance to reduce any possible risks and violations. Failure to comply results in penalty charges once complaints are filed against your entity. The penalties may be hefty because you must pay statutory damages for every call made. It is a must for any telephone marketing business to understand Do Not Call compliance.
Entities may access the national registry at an annual fee. Customers should not worry because these registries only have their numbers and names without any other personal information. Since phone numbers are registered daily, businesses working with telephone marketing campaigns should always have an updated list and check out numbers on the listings.