VoIP Robocalling Offenders. What do you Need to Know?Posted on: 2017-09-04 | Categories: VoIP Services
Technology is making inroads into every aspect of our lives. Many processes that required people to perform various steps manually are now automated. Whether it is banking or shopping, most of us do these activities online from the comfort of our home. Similarly automation is making it easier for enterprises to reach customers, process transactions or even manufacture products.
What Is Robocalling?
Telemarketing campaigns are one such area where automation has changed the process completely. Gone are the days when you had random people calling you up and offering to sell products and services. Today these telemarketing campaigns have become ‘set and forget it’ type of workflows. These calls are generally referred to as robocalls, since there are no real people behind the phones.
Robocalls are a type of phone call where software is used to automatically dial numbers – one of the other – to deliver some recorded messages. They are typically associated with telephone marketing, political campaigns etc. In many countries, robocalls are also used by federal or state government agencies to issue announcements in case of emergencies. In most cases, you can easily identify robocalls the moment you say hello. But some companies customize the messages to make them appear more personal.
The Relationship between VoIP and Robocalling
Robocalling is generally viewed as a nuisance by consumers. These unwanted calls are the biggest source of complaints received by the FCC. However this problem doesn’t exactly have an easy solution. VoIP has been something of a double edged sword for companies in this respect. VoIP actually makes it easier to automate calling numbers. Sometimes all you need is a website or some small tool that can make the calls for you or your company.
VoIP also allows for caller ID spoofing. Although this was possible with landlines, it is considerably easier with VoIP phones. In addition, anyone can get a VoIP number with any area code. So people who get these robocalls cannot be sure if it is a legitimate call or not before they answer it.
On the flipside of the coin, VoIP has been helpful for individuals as well. Many VoIP services and apps allow users to block unwanted callers. You can also whitelist or blacklist certain numbers or even a series of numbers. A white list means that only numbers that are on the list will get to ring your phone. A blacklist is the opposite – any number on the blacklist will not be able to get through to the person on the other side.
Regulations regarding Robocalling
Most countries have some sort of regulations governing the use of robocalls. Americans can request their number to be placed on national ‘Do Not Call’ registries. This is a very common approach used by many countries. However it has not been very effective in stopping robocalls.
Apart from that, the FCC also has certain regulations that cover these automated calls. Although political campaigns are exempted from these regulations, states have also introduced their own legislation that specifically prohibits political robocalls. If your business intends to use robocalls as part of a marketing campaign, you should know the regulations and comply with them.
Before you even call a single person, you should know that robocalling mobile devices needs prior consent. That means the person you are calling should have agreed to be contacted by your office. In some states, consent alone is not enough. The organization and the person must have a pre-existing relationship for a legal robocall. That means you can’t just call potential customers from a list offered by third party suppliers in those states.
Additionally you should check that none of the numbers on your list are on the national Do Not Call registry. You may end up with severe fines or penalties for breaching these regulations. Robocalling may appear to be a great way of automating the process of contacting potential clients. However since they’re most commonly associated with political campaigns or shady telemarketing practices, you run the risk of alienating your audience.
Alternatives to Robocalls
As we can see, robocalling is not bad by itself. But unfortunately the process and technology has become associated with shady or illegal business practices. Sometimes automation is not the answer to your problems! So what else can you do?
VoIP technology makes it easy to automate or streamline various communication processes. Your business can take advantage of them without having to worry about robocall regulations. For instance, some VoIP services integrate with CRM apps like Salesforce. This means your sales reps can call customers from within the CRM app. It can save you countless hours and capture relevant call details automatically. That’s just one example of the various features you can use in VoIP systems. Utilize the tools you have to save time and money, without running afoul of the regulations.