FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

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FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Unfortunately at the end of June 2015, the FCC ruled that they will use the strict interpretation of an auto-dialer:

"Kristi Lemoine of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, affirms that if equipment has the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, “even with some modification,” it qualifies as an autodialer."
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/fcc ... tion-abuse

"Human intervention — like touch screen dialing button — is not sufficient to overcome ATDS status"
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/fcc ... ection-act


This means that you can't use any kind of computer-based system to call cellphones in the USA unless you have express consent for the person you call on a cellphone. No alteration to the software can offer compliance under these new rules. This covers all auto-dialers, all PBXs, all softphones, tablets and smartphones. Even a basic touch tone telephone with a redial button would be considered an auto-dialer. Only a rotary phone could be in compliance.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:19 pm

Of course, for this to become an issue you still must have a complaint. This could be resolved by using a service to avoid cell phones, assuming there are still some non-cell phones left in the US at this point.

Another method is to be compliant with the DNC, and a third is to not call random people without having a live (intelligent) agent available after the Hello. Of course, this is what Vicidial is for in the first place. LOL

There is still the risk of those Litigious guys who like to make a living bilking call centers by threatening lawsuits, often when they have no merit to the case, but those you'll get regardless (they just have a bit more ammo is all).
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:16 am

Vicidial has built-in cellphone filtering if you have an account with DNC.COM, this has been built in for two years now and we have set up dozens of clients to use it. The portability database on their service is updated daily and the prefix database is updated weekly. It works very well, but it does need to be configured on the command line of a vicidial server.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby Acidshock » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:11 pm

Really this is getting to the point that there needs to be a massive push from all industries to change this stuff. Lot of people and lawyers I have talked to feel that the FCC is overstepping their authority but of course that will take lots of law suits and millions of dollars to get them to change their mind. I still don't see why the DNC portion wasn't fine just by itself. Someone could easily add their cell number to the DNC and problem solved. Basically the FCC is making the decision for people whether they want to listen to someone else's right to free speech; which is the only reason the Supreme Court upheld the DNC registry initially, because it was voluntary to opt out of hearing someone's right to free speech and not automatically be prevented from hearing it.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:32 pm

I disagree. I think it's about the fact that calling people without their permission annoys them in addition to the fact that calling someone on their cell phone can also cost them money. Call centers do not have the right to spend money of random people across the country.

As long as you avoid cell phones and comply with the DNC, the FCC will ignore you. And if someone makes a false complaint against you (has happened to several clients), the proof from carrier logs is enough to make them go away without even hiring a lawyer.

From the Call Center standpoint, there's no problem there.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:48 pm

I don't think the FCC is overstepping it's authority, they are trying to interpret a horribly written law passed 24 years ago(before cellphones were popular). My hope is that this ruling by the FCC will show just how ridiculous it is that you need to use a rotary analog phone to call someone on a cellphone, and that Congress will get their act together and pass a law to reform the TCPA. Maybe a few members of Congress need to get sued for calling people on their cellphones to help move things along :)
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:30 pm

That'd be interesting. I don't think the FCC is the only people allowed to sue. All we need is for a Call Center owner to get a call from a politician's Cell phone ... for a legitimate business reason, and sue because they did not give permission for that business call.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby Acidshock » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:56 pm

williamconley wrote:I disagree. I think it's about the fact that calling people without their permission annoys them in addition to the fact that calling someone on their cell phone can also cost them money. Call centers do not have the right to spend money of random people across the country.


I agree there are plenty of bad call centers out there but there are some that are good and still run into problems with this law.

In all reality, with the exception of prepaid phones, almost all cellular phones have unlimited voice plans and have moved to charging for data usage. The charge per minute plan is going the way of the Dodo.

So if I take myself as an example. I have unlimited voice. Maybe I wanted to hear what the person had to offer. However the FCC assumes that all telemarketing is a scam. This was even noted in one of the dissents written by one of the panel members. Maybe I don't find them as annoying as other people. I just feel I don't need my government to make my mind up for me.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:25 pm

Acidshock wrote:... but there are some that are good and still run into problems with this law.

I've never heard of a single example of an honest call center bumping heads against the FCC on this topic, much less actually landing in court. If you follow the FCC rules (adhere to NDNC and avoid cells) ... no worries.

Aside from rhetoric and claims of "it's gonna happen", I've still not heard of a single case.

The only drawbacks are those fabulous few who like to sue call centers for a living. On the other hand, they don't get the opportunity to do so if you follow the rules in the first place (or they Lose because you did not actually call them without permission ...). They do get annoyed when they spend $$ to file a civil suite and then lose. Those are the fun days. LOL
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:28 pm

Several very large banks have settled class action multi-million-dollar lawsuits over TCPA violations, and it was for calling their own customers, people who entrusted them with their money. There is no common sense in this law, it needs to be reformed or repealed.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:07 pm

mflorell wrote:Several very large banks have settled class action multi-million-dollar lawsuits over TCPA violations, and it was for calling their own customers, people who entrusted them with their money. There is no common sense in this law, it needs to be reformed or repealed.

Did you just put "Very Large Banks" in the realm of "Honest Call Center"?

Now, I'd say there's a problem if the bank was calling the customer's cell phone to validate a possibly fraudulent transaction and got sued ... is that what happened? Or was this a subsidiary that sold a list to a call center to sell a third-party product to the bank's "Client List"?

I wasn't watching this case. Too many lawsuits ... and I don't care if someone sues a bank, as a rule.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:19 pm

There were several TCPA class actions against big banks like Chase, Capitol One, Bank of America, etc...

Most of them hinged on the meaning of "prior consent" and the requirements of that at the time of the lawsuits. None of the banks admitted guilt, but they all settled to end the suits that in some cases had been ongoing for years. Some of the classes in these suits were made up entirely of their own customers, some were non-customers who had the phone numbers of previous bank customers, and some of these were outside of those two groups.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:33 pm

The point being the nature of the phone calls. Were they actual client contacts or were they spamming?

Huge difference between "validating a possibly fraudulent POS transaction" and "buy our Identity Theft insurance" ... :)
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:38 am

It was all phone calls and texts, I remember reading in the Bank of America case that this included security notifications and mobile phone verification by way of texts. So part of what BofA was being sued for was customers putting in their mobile phone numbers to send them a verification code to be able to log in to their web account. The problem with those is that BofA never asked for specific consent to send those texts through an auto-dialer. They were also being sued for "calls to non-customers" which they weren't as specific on.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby chasejordan1 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:21 pm

williamconley wrote:
Acidshock wrote:... but there are some that are good and still run into problems with this law.

I've never heard of a single example of an honest call center bumping heads against the FCC on this topic, much less actually landing in court. If you follow the FCC rules (adhere to NDNC and avoid cells) ... no worries.

Aside from rhetoric and claims of "it's gonna happen", I've still not heard of a single case.

The only drawbacks are those fabulous few who like to sue call centers for a living. On the other hand, they don't get the opportunity to do so if you follow the rules in the first place (or they Lose because you did not actually call them without permission ...). They do get annoyed when they spend $$ to file a civil suite and then lose. Those are the fun days. LOL



Well than I will be your first, the professional plaintiff is worse for the normal call center than the FCC. Even if you follow the rules the professional plaintiff can simply lie about the phone call to get the suit approved by the court and then "the call center" has to pay to play. Furthermore the professional plaintiff can simply file a smalls claims suit against the "call center" and if they don't show up they lose, and usually it is in a different state etc.

I have gone thru both. The Class Action Federal Law Suit that the Professional Plaintiff filed against me and the "non-profit" insurance company I work with, it was 15K retainer for me and 15K retainer for the Insurance company just to show up and file papers etc. At the end of the day the suit got dismissed, but the insurance company (big pockets) still settled so that the "Plaintiff" wouldn't file an appeal.

The plaintiff blatantly lied about the call to get the suit approved. This "plaintiff" has 23 other suits going on as we speak. They do what they can to extort money from call centers. It is very sad of the call centers trying to follow the rules.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:51 pm

If it wasn't in federal court, you should simply have ignored the "out of state" suit, as that's why corporations are state based.

If you actually did not call this person, I'd have NOT hired an attorney until there was evidence to the contrary (which is how we won the cases when I was asked to represent call centers ... since it's usually either a Lie or Number Spoofing, which CAN be proven). Deny all charges, subpeona the evidence, the judge sends you to mediation, the mediator awaits the non-existent evidence and recommends dismissal (then the plaintiff usually disappears).

But I digress: Since your insurance company paid them, they will of course continue. How does that change based on this new rule? Either you called them or you didn't ... and they'll sue you either way regardless of this change.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:29 pm

The official FCC Declaratory Ruling is out, and it looks like its 166 pages long. I've read through the first 20 pages and I'm more confused now than I was before I read them. Hopefully we'll be able to post some summaries from actual lawyers on this thread soon. Until then, here's the official FCC link:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnib ... -and-order
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:14 pm

So ... a Client Suggestion for dialing cell phones without losing the ensuing lawsuit:

Manual Dial Mode alteration: Instead of bringing up a "dial next lead", it would bring up the next lead's phone number and there would be be NO dial button, just a text field under the phone number. The agent would be required to manually type (the SAME!) number, and upon success, the "dial" button would appear. Thus the agent has manually entered the number and caused the "dial" to occur, without automated dialing.

Their lawyer says he could successfully defend that in court if necessary. I did discuss the "heck, even an android is capable of autodialing ..." concept, which the client will regurgitate to the lawyer (yep, one-off discussions are fun). However, it seems likely at this point they'll have us build their version of Manual Dial By Agent Screen momentarily.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:27 pm

If they had actually read the FCC's ruling, they would know that "solution" would fail miserably in court.

It's not the actual dialing, it's the CAPACITY of the system to be able to auto-dial that makes it illegal.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:53 pm

I get that, and you get that, and the court got that. But the lawyer wants to apply some common sense instead. Oddly enough, they're certain he's not motivated by "if they get sued he gets more work" and are certain that he's got their back.

And on the other side of it, of course, it IS common sense and may cause them to avoid entering the courtroom in the first place. I think we'll find out in the next six months. The project is live. We'll see if they survive six months without getting sued after completion. 8-)
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby Acidshock » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:46 pm

Whats so ^%$#ed up about the capacity argument is that asterisk is being used and technically that's the part that has the capacity...So technically Digium's products are illegal, fonality, any hosted solution such as 8x8, etc. They are all either based on freeswitch or asterisk which have the CAPACITY in one shape or another. Basically the FCC did their usual masterful job of taking something simple and making so complicated no one can understand it... Might as well be the cable company.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:27 pm

I now have a customer who is dialing manually ... and using Vicidial for Recordkeeping Only. In fact, Vicidial supplies the number.

They are using their old (dusty) non-connected PBX system and hand dialing. Of course, it's only on one campaign, but they're putting this in a completely separate server with NO carriers to avoid the "Possibility" of autodial mode in any way. Their lawyers said "this WILL be legal by any interpretation" for dialing.

Wow.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby dito » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:34 pm

Hello mflorell and williamconley ... just wanted to thank you and all the team of vicidial project members.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:37 am

FTC Brings Action against Lead-Generator Using Robocalls to Pitch Energy Savings

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-r ... ovdelivery

Generating leads is a commercial activity. The DNC applies ... and the penalties far outweigh the profit.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby millahjovich » Thu May 19, 2016 7:06 am

Vicidial has built-in cellphone filtering if you have an account with DNC.COM, this has been built in for two years now and we have set up dozens of clients to use it. The portability database on their service is updated daily and the prefix database is updated weekly. It works very well, but it does need to be configured on the command line of a vicidial server.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:08 pm

FTC, Florida Attorney General Take Action Against Illegal Robocall Operation

Case against Florida-Based Life Management Services Marks 39th Action against Illegal Robocallers by Federal, State, and International Law Enforcers since January 2015

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-r ... ovdelivery

... based in Orlando with bombarding consumers with illegal robocalls in an attempt to sell them bogus credit-card interest rate reduction and debt relief services.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby iboam » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:53 pm

millahjovich wrote:Vicidial has built-in cellphone filtering if you have an account with DNC.COM, this has been built in for two years now and we have set up dozens of clients to use it. The portability database on their service is updated daily and the prefix database is updated weekly. It works very well, but it does need to be configured on the command line of a vicidial server.


how may i use this feature ?? i have the DNC list for the area codes i use to dial but there is any way to do it automatically ???
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby mflorell » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:46 am

The feature only works with an active DNC.COM account. It's all in the svn/trunk codebase if you want to take a look at the code.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:38 pm

We have a DNC add-on for Vicidial that allows your lists to be washed nightly on the Vicidial server (not during operating hours, of course, as this is a fairly hefty request).
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby iboam » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:05 am

How may i do it ??
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:24 am

For our system, you pay us to install it, then you download your State or Area Code lists from donotcall.gov and upload them (without making any changes!) into our add-on page within Vicidial.

For the DNC.com system, I presume you subscribe and provide them with your SAN number for donotcall.gov. After that, I'm not sure how it works as we have no customers using them (too costly).
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby iboam » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:37 am

How much it is the cost of this addon ?
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:51 am

http://catalog.poundteam.com/product_in ... cts_id=612

$299.

Note that this requires the State or Per Area Code ZIP files from the NDNC. You must load fresh zip files every month manually into the system, simply by downloading them and re-uploading them into the system without making any changes. So far, no one has paid to upgrade the system to take the "Full NDNC" file (one big zip file with the Entire Country instead of State by State or Area Code by Area Code).

It washes nightly OR it can wash a single list during production (but we don't recommend it unless you do so during a break, as it is processor intense).
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby iboam » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:15 am

i download every month the DNC list for the area code i used to dial so will be $299 each server ???
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:42 am

$299 per database server installation. It only needs to run on the database server.

Also: We usually set it up to block calls to numbers in area codes that are NOT loaded into NDNC. So if you don't own the 608 area code, those numbers will remain blocked until you purchase and upload the 608 area code NDNC zip file.
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby iboam » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:51 am

Perfect ... i like it ... i have a pending server to be installed, as soon as i get it done i will take it ... thanks Will for all your help ...
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby williamconley » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:29 pm

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-p ... llorey-inc

Recognize anyone on this list? Do they owe you money? If so ... you're not likely to be collecting.

Just sayin'

Oh: and do NOT ignore the DNC list and think you're too small to be noticed. Some of these only made a total of 800k calls over a couple years. There may be some that are smaller, I didn't read all of them (there are several cases/charges/announcements).
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Re: FCC and the TCPA changes June 2015 for the USA

Postby Arative » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:34 am

The ACA won its case against the FCC in regards to the June 2015 TCPA changes.
https://insidearm.com/news/00043812-bre ... es-key-pr/

The court didn't define what an ATDS is but they said what the FCC said it was in 2015 was not correct. Nothing has really changed yet but Chairman Pai was against the 2015 rules, so I'm guessing that the new rules will be much more favorable.
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