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January 7th, 2020

Don’t wait for the TCPA to change. Do this instead.

Your outbound dialing organization could be liable for damages in the millions of dollars if it violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Your industry’s association is probably advocating for the TCPA to be updated for the modern calling environment.

Don’t just wait and hope for results; matters involving the FCC and the courts move slowly.

Take control over a major contributing factor to the challenge of TCPA compliance—the decay of data in your CRM. You’ll lower the hurdle to compliance and, more importantly, increase your organization’s operational efficiency by reaching your targeted consumer.

U.S. Supreme Court asked to consider concerns about TCPA

This post was inspired by the actions of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), but it applies to all outbound dialing organizations. In November, CUNA filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court about the burden of the TCPA in the case Duguid v. Facebook:

“Navigating this complex and opaque legal and regulatory quagmire is particularly problematic for the thousands of small credit unions that serve rural or economically disadvantaged communities underserved by traditional banking institutions…To avoid potentially crippling TCPA litigation, credit unions have abandoned efficient calling technologies,” the brief reads. “Notifications of critical importance to members—such as notices of past due payments or fraud alerts—are delayed or not made at all.”

Your legal team can assess the merits of this case. It could be years before this case gets fully settled.

Updating your CRM data is key to reducing compliance risk

Complying with TCPA is not magic, but can be confusing. Consumer phone data is more fluid than you may suspect. Approximately one out of every eight mobile phones will disconnect or change carriers this year. This is where your TCPA risk lies. It is significant. As CRM data decays, the risk of TCPA violations and lawsuits go up. 3,034 suits for TCPA violations were filed between January and October, 2019.

In Data Decay Is the Enemy of Every Call Center, I wrote that “data decay manifests into an operational nightmare and the potential for TCPA risk. Cleaning your CRM data once is helpful, but the minute you put that file into production, it begins to go out of date. A CRM, unlike fine wine, gets worse with age. As your data has more ‘vintage,’ your risk of violating TCPA increases and your operational efficiency decreases.”

Can your organization afford to develop and maintain the technology and processes required to keep your CRM current with changes in consumers’ information and consent—at scale? Few organizations can, let alone small credit unions.

That’s a pity. There’s a substantial upside to the effort. Mitigating data decay reduces TCPA risk and keeps your agents calling customers at the numbers that are more likely to be answered.

Take control with Neustar’s help

The TCPA industry reminds me of a saying I heard in Colorado: you move here for the winter but stay for the summer. Firms buy Neustar’s TCPA solutions to mitigate risk of non-compliance but end up keeping the solutions because they help with dialing efficiency. Our push notification services notifies clients proactively when we see a change event. Their whole CRM stays scrubbed as consumer data changes.

Today, customers who leverage our TCPA solutions are less anxious about compliance and potential fines. They aren’t throttling their outreach, foregoing efficient calling technologies, or holding their breath for changes to the TCPA. They’re thriving in the de facto business landscape and enjoying greater operational efficiency.

Who knows, maybe the U.S. Supreme Court will heed CUNA’s brief and carve out an exception to the TCPA for credit unions. That would bring some relief, but it would do nothing to solve the problem of data decay. That’s in the hands of each individual organization. It can be addressed today and unlock tangible benefits.

Don’t just wait and hope for results. Take control.

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