A while back I posted FTC to Crack Down on Voice Broadcasting which said that new restrictions will be in place for Voice Broadcasting starting September 1, 2009. Voice Broadcasting is a method of automatically ‘blasting’ out a pre-recorded message to hundreds or thousands of phone numbers in short order. The messages have options for the recipients to choose from. Usually there are just two – something like “press 1 to learn more” and “press 2 to be removed from our list”. The ‘learn more’ option connects them to another destination. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Robocalls’.
This has been a tool used by marketers to acquire leads and contacts for their business. It’s used in many home based businesses – especially network marketing home businesses. Beginning September 1, businesses who use this type of technology will have to change to a permission based methodology. In other words, after this date, marketers will have to gain permission before blasting out these automated calls.
I’ve been interested in finding out how the voice broadcasting services are going to respond to and handle this change. In the case of the Phone Broadcast Club (PBC), they will be handling it as follows:
On Sept 1st or earlier, PBC will turn on the live Agent function in Phone Prospector. This is a function (optional) that will have all your outbound broadcasts first go through a call center agent who will then ask the person you are calling if they would like to accept or decline the call. If they accept, they put the call through and thus it is considered “opt-in”, if they decline then it is put on your personal DNC list under a new section called “Agent Declines” located on the top of the site.
Whether you use PBC or some other service, be aware of this new restriction and make sure you can be compliant with it. Below is a link to an article where you can read more about this new FTC rule.
You can also read more about the background to this legislation in “Gov’t Addresses Robocall Annoyance with New Ban.”