The Silver Lining In It All
Earlier this week, we shared some of our concerns with the FCC’s latest robocall regulations. Today, I’d like to share some of the good things we see coming out of Washington.
Filter Calls. No Gimmicks
We’re fully on board with Green Lighting ‘Do Not Disturb’ Technology, which means “service providers can offer robocall-blocking technologies to consumers and implement market-based solutions that consumers can use to stop unwanted robocalls.” This enables carriers to block calls that people don't want, which we completely support. That being said, of course, education must go with this. Carriers have to be made aware of the differences in “bad, spammy” calls and “good” calls, so that they don't throw away all the "good" automated calls that people actually want to receive. There are companies out there, like NomoRobo, that are working hard to identify good and bad actors in the automated calling industry. We’ll be reaching out to these companies soon and look forward to helping shape how this technology shapes our industry.
Easiest Breakup Ever
Another proposal for the TCPA is Empowering Consumers to Say ‘Stop’. Basically, “consumers have the right to revoke their consent to receive robocalls and robotexts in any reasonable way at any time.” As a provider, it means enabling opt outs by any reasonable means. This seems like common sense. If you want off the list of people being broadcasted to, all you have to do is say so. No big deal. We've always allowed call recipients to opt out of calls from our clients, and there are several easy ways recipients and clients can inform our system. Requiring a signature, completion of a paper-based form, or the other things we've heard about just complicates that process and we don’t approve of them. We may be biased, but that’s only because we believe automated calls are appropriate in certain situations and should serve the recipients of the messages for the better. In the case of collections calls and texts (which can be harassing in nature), we believe they should only be broadcasted when they serve more as reminders rather than demands.
Hello Freedom, Adios Spammers
Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) along with a dozen other senators wrote a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler of the FCC that urged him and the commissioners to strengthen the power of the TCPA rather than weakening it. Therefore, Senator McCaskill supported a bill that would protect consumers from spammy, highly illegal robocalls. Domestically, we believe the current regulations are plenty powerful. However, this bill would make it easier to hunt down and prosecute international spammers who are the source of many illegal robocalls. "Believe it or not, a lot of these calls are coming from computer servers in foreign countries," McCaskill said during an interview. "If we can give the FTC jurisdiction, which is the enforcement agency, international jurisdiction, then they can work with the FBI internationally." Domestic regulations on robocalling aren’t going to stop the truly spammy robocalls because these spammers are typically located internationally and are undeterred by US policies and penalties. This type of law is what we really need to protect consumers, and one we completely support.
Brad Herrmann is the founder and president of Call-Em-All, an automated calling and group texting company that provides solutions for small and medium sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. Since 2005, Call-Em-All has grown to send more than 5 million group calls and texts each month. Brad is a graduate of Texas A&M University.