A common myth in collections is that debt collection agencies and creditors can’t comply with the TCPA’s often puzzling language for autodialed calls while simultaneously maximizing right-party contacts to grow collections rates. With TCPA lawsuits at a record high and rising, it’s clearly dangerous ground. Does TCPA compliance have to mean call center performance and operational efficiencies suffer?
In a recent webinar held in partnership with Collections & Credit Risk, FTC veteran and Neustar Chief Privacy Officer Becky Burr and Neustar Executive Director of Risk Solutions Adam Russell shared industry-proven methods to ease TCPA risk while improving overall performance. The webinar also demonstrated the success of a collections company using Neustar Verification solution to increase outbound call center efficiency and boost revenue by improving both Right-Party contact rates by 60%.
“TCPA has really put a lot of pressure on the P&L’s for the organizations that are regulated by it - banks, marketers, third party agencies – the entire industry seems to be impacted.” – Adam Russell
TCPA and what it means for credit and collections agencies
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates pre-recorded and/or auto-dialed commercial communication, and prohibits the use of auto-dialers or prerecorded messaging to wireless numbers, health care facilities, emergency lines, or any called-party pays number without the prior consent of the called party. In the case of telemarketing communications, new FCC regulations require that the prior consent be written.
Additionally, the TCPA prohibits:
- Non-emergency pre-recorded calls to residential lines without the prior express consent of the called party (subject to specific exemptions)
- Transmission of unsolicited advertisements to fax numbers
- Use of auto-dialer to engage two or more business lines simultaneously
With these explicit restrictions in place, agencies and creditors need to determine which restrictions specifically apply to their business. Becky Burr explained the meaning of “prior consent” in different contexts and discussed the financial risks associated with compliance failure in the webinar here.
The explosion of Data and the challenges
With the velocity of change and decrease in data access, enterprises are challenged to keep information up-to-date, and to make sense of it all. Check out the below snapshot of the challenges associated with the recent explosion of data:
Best practices for mitigating TCPA compliance risk
The biggest sources of risk lie in accurately identifying a landline vs. wireless number, verifying that you have the correct consent for a specific activity, and ensuring that you dial only the person who originally gave consent.
To correctly distinguish mobile numbers from landlines and to identify current subscribers, agencies and creditors must use continuously updated and highly accurate phone data in their telemarketing efforts.
These simple best practices will help you ensure compliance and protect your business:
- Instantly identify the correct phone type and filter wireless numbers out of auto-dialers (unless you have prior consent)
- Instantly identify active numbers and filter inactive numbers to increase dialer efficiency and response rates
- Instantly verify the current subscriber to confirm continuing validity of consent.
- Instantly update and append accurate address and phone information
Only authoritative phone data provides the kind of data needed to mitigate serious TCPA risk. Neustar’s Verification Solution provides real-time query response designed for adding into any work-flow or model.
Want to be confident in your TCPA compliance? Find out how one solution can help you mitigate risk and improve efficiency.
Dorean Kass is executive director for Neustar Information Services. He is a key industry voice and advocate for the use of on-demand consumer and business intelligence for top brands in the financial services, insurance, and call center verticals.