If you haven't been following the FTC on social media (we know they are in everyone's streams), then you might not have heard about their latest push to end illegal robocalls. Some might be surprised, but we have the same desire and feeling about illegal robocalls as the FTC and the thousands of people who file complaints every month. That is why we were invited and participated in the FTC Robocall Summit and why we have put in place internal training, technology and some other secret sauce to make sure our system makes calls to people that want to receive automated voice messages.
$50,000! That is what the FTC is offering as a prize for their FTC Robocall Challenge. You know what we'd do with $50,000? Probably buy some really geeky hardware and drool all over it. Unfortunately, we don't qualify to participate in the challenge as a company, but we are keeping a very close eye on it and are excited to see what great ideas are pitched.
1. Technology to Solve the Problem
We put a lot of time into preventing illegal robocalls. Our engineering team has worked to put our own technology in place to prevent them from being made on our system. Also, our CSM team spends time manually preventing the calls that do manage to slip through the net we cast to catch them from a technical standpoint.
Potentially thousands of technically knowledgeable people are going to be brainstorming a way how technology can solve this problem. We could possibly have 200x the brainpower tackling this problem. Remember "Batman Forever" and the Riddler trying to use everyone's brain power for evil? Well this is kind of the same thing, just for good.
2. It Puts Focus On Our Industry
Automated communication has a place in this world. It is for the schools alerting parents and students to weather closings, the churches prayer chains, soccer coaches changing the time of practice, manufacturing facilities telling employees about shift openings and even reminders to exercise your right to vote. It can be tough trying to run an honest and successful business when there are many others who simply want to make a quick buck at at any cost (disregarding the law and people's privacy). We are going to continue participating in the conversations that this newest focus has put on our industry and will help to make sure the illegal calls are stopped so that legitimate calls can be placed and have less of a negative burden.
3. We Hate Them Too!
Everyone in our office gets calls from "Rachel at cardholder services" too. They are annoying, harassing, and we can't wait for a technical solution to limiting and even stopping these illegal calls. We'll be watching the competition submissions and may even comment on a few of them from time to time. We encourage you to participate if you have any ideas too. Sign up and Follow the competition.