Do Not Call Compliance
On October 1, 2003, the FTC and the States will start to enforce the National Do Not Call Registry provisions of the Amended Telemarketing Sales Rule. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $11,000 per violation. All covered sellers and telemarketers must access the National Do Not Call Registry if they plan to make covered calls after October 1, 2003.
Q: Who is covered by the National Do Not Call Registry?
A: The National Do Not Call Registry applies to any plan, program or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls. This includes telemarketers who solicit consumers, often on behalf of third party sellers. It also includes sellers who provide, offer to provide, or arrange to provide goods or services to consumers in exchange for payment.
Q: What about an established business relationship?
A: A telemarketer or seller may call a consumer with whom it has an established business relationship for up to 18 months after the consumer’s last purchase, delivery or payment – even if the consumer’s number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. In addition, a company may call a consumer for up to 3 months after the consumer makes an inquiry or submits an application to the company. And if a consumer has given a company written permission, the company may call even if the consumer’s number is on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Q: If a call includes a telephone survey and a sales pitch, is it covered?
A: Yes. Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the do not call provisions. But if the call is for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is exempt.
Q: How does the established business relationship provision work for a consumer whose number is on the registry?
A: For a consumer whose number is on the registry: A company with which a consumer has an established business relationship may call for up to 18 months after the consumer’s last purchase or last delivery, or last payment, unless the consumer asks the company not to call again. In that case, the company must honor the request not to call. If the company calls again, it may be subject to a fine of up to $11,000. If a consumer makes an inquiry or submits an application to a company, the company can call for 3 months. Once again, if the consumer makes a specific request to that company not to call, the company may not call, even if it has an established business relationship with the consumer. A consumer whose number is not on the national registry can still prohibit individual telemarketers from calling by asking to be put on the company’s own do not call list. Customer Service Intelligence can track any and all customers that do not wish to be contacted!
Q: What’s my liability if my company inadvertently calls a number on the registry?
A: The TSR has a “safe harbor” for inadvertent mistakes. If a seller or telemarketer can show that as part of its routine business practice, it meets all the requirements of the safe harbor, it will not be subject to civil penalties or sanctions for mistakenly calling a consumer who has asked for no more calls, or for calling a person on the registry. To meet the safe harbor requirements, the seller or telemarketer must demonstrate that:
1. It has written procedures to comply with the do not call requirements. Customer Service Intelligence has written procedures in place to comply with the FTC.
2. It trains its personnel in those procedures. Customer Service Intelligence employees are trained in these procedures.
3. It monitors and enforces compliance with these procedures. Customer Service Intelligence monitors and enforces compliance with these procedures electronically and manually.
4. It maintains a company-specific list of telephone numbers that it may not call. Customer Service Intelligence maintains a company-specific list in an electronic form contained securely with an archived and power-loss protected database.
5. It accesses the national registry no more than 3 months before calling any consumer and maintains records documenting the process. Customer Service Intelligence’s records are electronically logged when they are imported and the process is documented.
6. Any call made in violation of the do not call rules was the result of an error.
All email correspondence that is generated by CSI is 100% in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, with the following precautionary measures in place:
1. All follow-up emails are labeled appropriately, with subject's such as "Follow-up Message From..."
2. At the bottom of each email, opt-out instructions are given in the form of an unsubscribe link.
3. Your physical address is printed at the bottom of each email sent so that any follow-up emails CSI generates to your customers will not be identified as SPAM.