The Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 2014

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Changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act will impact the contact center industry in 2014. Changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act will impact the contact center industry in 2014.

Everyone in the contact center industry agrees that last year's changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) will have a big impact on operations in the coming year. Here's how ServicePattern, our next generation cloud contact center solution, can help.

The United States Congress originally passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 1991, to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, and last October, new rules went into effect to strengthen those protections.

In 2003, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened the National Do Not Call Registry to allow residential telephone subscribers to expressly opt-out of receiving telemarketing calls. The Do Not Call Improvement Act of 2007 introduced requirements for the FTC to periodically check the opt-out database and remove numbers that have been reassigned or disconnected.

For outbound contact centers, regulatory compliance largely means honoring the consumer opt-out requests as recorded in the national registry. It also means honoring the opt-outs on the 12 state level Do Not Call registries. ServicePattern has a number of features to help contact centers maintain regulatory compliant dialing lists.

ServicePattern supports the automated, periodic, import of 'clean' lists scrubbed against the applicable Do Not Call registries. ServicePattern also includes its own built-in Do Not Call list to flag opt-out contacts as campaigns progress.

A more recent feature is a set of API methods to allow an external application to query ServicePattern for a number, check it against an external Do Not Call registry, and then delete the number from the ServicePattern list.

The contact center can also manage opt-in lists, for the case where a customer calls into the center and wants a call back; ServicePattern maintains a default 30-day callback period for that record. Imported lists also have a default callback period set on a per-record basis. Records that expire are not dialed and are marked with a "Record Expired" disposition.

Where the contact center has an established business relationship (EBR) with a consumer, the center is permitted, under federal law, to place calls to the associated number for 18 months. (In some states, the period is shorter.) ServicePattern leverages the opt-in list and records expiration function to manage these EBR records. Our system also enables the contact center to adhere to curfew hours rules, both at the federal and state level, with the Calling Hours feature.

The ServicePattern autodialer includes features to support the mandatory redirect to an IVR for calls not connected within two seconds, and interactive opt-out to allow called parties to add their number to the internal Do Not Call list via the IVR.

Finally, a rich suite of reporting features with full export capabilities provides historical record keeping to confirm ongoing regulatory compliance.

All-in-all, complying with the new, more stringent, consumer protection act rules, should not be an issue for contact centers that choose ServicePattern.


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