Everything You Need To Know About Auto Dialer Laws
Understanding Auto Dialer Legalities
Automated dialing, also known as auto-dialing is when a machine is used to dial phone numbers with no human involvement. This method of communication has gained popularity with companies looking to improve their marketing or sales efforts however it does raise crucial legal issues.
Why Are Auto Dialers Illegal? While it’s true that misuse of technology used in dialers led to some restrictions imposed by the government, dialers are still legal as they follow the rules.
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Why Are Auto Dialers Illegal?
Why Are Auto Dialers Illegal? Auto Dialers are not legal if they conform to the definition in the Federal Communication Commission or TCPA.
It’s a fully automated process without any human interaction unless the person who was called was offered the choice to transfer to a live agent. In some call centers with outbound lines the power dialing mode is employed to make a call and dial ahead, and search for the right people for sales agents to talk to. Automated dialers wait until the call center representatives are available and then dial several lines in order to find a person. Advanced automated dialing systems called predictive dialing, can begin even before the agent is available, and they make use of real time analysis to know when to start dialing and the number of lines to dial to improve the amount of talk time.
However this Federal Communication Commission order does not define the precise parameters that comprise the automatic dialer system definition, nor does it attempt to fully recognize every kind of device that fits within this definition. In the end, FCC leaves the question unanswered and will be able to decide on a case-by-case basis. A manager at a call center should be aware of whether their business phone system could be considered an automatic dialer.
Is It Illegal To Use An Autodialer?
The use of an auto dialer isn’t illegal as long as you adhere to federal regulations as well as state regulations. The laws are constantly changing therefore it’s essential to be aware of the latest regulations to ensure that you’re legally making calls.
What Is An Auto Dialer?
Auto dialers let your personal or business phone navigate through a call list in a way that is automatic. They can be configured so that they only call when you select to start a call, dial when you’re done with a conversation instantly, and then go straight to the next call, or make calls queued by dialing out in the middle of the current call. There aren’t many dialers that can perform all three things, which is why it’s crucial to be aware of the capabilities of each dialer that you’re considering for your company.
What are types of Auto Dialer?
The main types of autodialer are the following:
- Preview Dialer
- Progressive Dialer
- Predictive Dialer
- Smart Predictive dialer
- Voice Broadcasting
What Does An Autodialer Do?
A caller from an auto-dialer contacts potential customers on auto-dial, choosing numbers from a database of databases or records. If a user answers an automated call, the system plays a recorded voice message that provides information about the company and discusses the ways it can meet customer requirements.
Customers are also able to interact with customer-care representatives or departments for customer care that the software system directs them to after receiving a request to do this. This technique improves agents’ efficiency and reduces the requirement to dial manually a lengthy list of numbers.
What Does Auto Dialer Law Apply To?
Autodialer law is applicable to any device or program that can store or generate numbers that can automatically dial them with no human intervention. This applies regardless of the fact that numbers dialed are generated in random order or in sequence or derived from phone number lists.
Many states ban or limit using automated calls. Before you commit time and money to automated calls, ensure that you are aware of the laws that apply to you in the states that you’re calling. Although the campaign currently LLC is unable to provide legal advice, it’s essential to keep track of any laws that may impact your contact center services.
- Federal laws: Every state in the United States must comply with federal laws. Although the TCPA permits the use of emergency notifications systems as well as reminders to schedule appointments for healthcare and general appointment schedules without prior consent, consent is required before you are able to send text messages or audio messages to cell phones.
- State Laws: Certain states do not have laws that apply to phone or voice dialers in addition to federal regulations, and some states have laws that are different. For instance the Alabama law on telemarketing includes a prohibition on solicitations for sales outside the state, along with a list of exceptions from the law and the definition of. In addition, the Alaska unwanted phone Solicitations document defines what constitutes illegal and uninformed telemarketing advertisements in the state. It is crucial to comply with the laws of your state.
What Type of Auto Dialer Calls Are Prohibited by the TCPA?
The TCPA rules are applicable to all common carriers as well as other marketers. Here are the phone calls which TCPA restricts, as well as exceptions.
Calls to cell phones
The use of mobile phones for calls that use any type of recorded or artificial voice that is not with your permission are unlawful. Additionally, calls made to mobile phones through an automated phone dialing system, without the customer’s permission are unlawful. It is important to remember that this applies to non-telemarketing as well as telephone calls for telemarketing.
There are exceptions, such as emergencies or medical calls. However the exemptions are comparatively narrow. The type of consent needed is contingent upon the type of call. Telemarketing and advertising calls to cell phones need written consent. So, if a caller attempts to offer you something, it must be able to get your permission in writing. The consent letter must clearly provide the consent of the buyer for automated calls from the company.
Be aware that calls made to non-telemarketing cell phones are also illegal when they are made without the consumer’s approval. But, consent for some of these calls does not need to be written. Although a person may have given consent to being called in previous times, the customer are able to cancel their consent at any time. Any call made after cancellation is unlawful.
It is against the law for telemarketers to auto-dial landlines with a prerecorded or artificial voice, without written consent of the landline owner.
There are exceptions to landlines and residential phones
- Totally informational calls
- Calls for emergency calls
- Commercial calls that do not come with an advertisement or constitute telemarketing
- Also, it is allowed to use an auto-dialer to call a landline, as long as there is no prerecorded or no prerecorded or artificial voice used.
- Calls placed for a non-commercial purpose
Note other exceptions apply to calls made to any kind of line.
- Time of day TCPA restrictions
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits any phone solicitation before eight and after nine o’clock.
TCPA restrictions on lawful pre-recorded calls
Even if an auto call is authorized by the person who made it the caller must abide by certain rules.
- Every automated message should include an identifier that allows the customer to make a no-call request.
- Any automated message has to recognize the person calling.
- To send automated telemarketing messages the opt-out option should be automated and easily accessible by the user
Revoking consent on telemarketing calls
If a consumer has given consent to the call, this consent may be canceled. Telemarketers must keep track of customers who request not to call and they have to respect customers’ wishes. Customers can withdraw any prior consent to be a part of any further calls. This is regardless of whether a number is not listed on the list of do not call. If the telemarketer calls you on a subsequent occasion, they are in violation of the law. Be aware that this is applicable to texts. If you want to revoke consent, choose the method that permits you to record the cancellation, such as text, email, or recordings of calls.
Illegal auto dialer text messages
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act treats text messages as an actual call. So the same rules applicable to phone calls also apply to text messages. If a person receives a message trying to sell him something and he’s not given his written consent or in writing, to receive the text in the first place, it’s illegal. Even a text message that is not telemarketing that is not accompanied by a consent form from the consumer is unlawful, unless it’s for medical emergencies or for other reasons. Removing consent is as easy as responding to the unwanted text message. If the person who sent the text keeps sending messages, they are not in compliance with the law.