Ready for the New Telemarketing Rules?
Ifbyphone is deploying enhanced tools to make it easier for companies to comply with the new Federal Trade Commission Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
The TSR—which is intended to give consumers more control over which companies may contact them via outbound telemarketing—goes into effect Dec. 1.
“At Ifbyphone, we don’t believe in voice broadcasts, we fundamentally believe in voice messaging, and the difference is a voice broadcast is a one-way dialogue,” says Irv Shapiro, CEO at Ifbyphone, a hosted telephone application platform company. “And we feel that that’s what consumers have objected to, which is the reason for the TSR.”
The new Ifbyphone enhanced tools include:
- a default recording of the required opt-out message,
- the ability to customize that recording, and
- a pre-packaged solution for accepting opt-out telephone calls.
“Our infrastructure has always supported interactive voice dialogues and we recommend to all of our customers…that they begin with a question that allows the consumer, the recipient, to decide what information they want to hear,” says Shapiro. “What we’re adding is a built-in dialogue and a build-in database manager. If you select the option to use our TSR support, you don’t have to build any of that...”
According to Shapiro, the TSR also requires companies leaving a message on an answering machine to provide an automated phone number for the recipient to use to opt-out of future calls. This regulation, Shapiro says, will likely be ignored.
“We’re pretty sure that a lot of people will miss that piece and it will cause some issues,” he says. “So we’re going to also provide, off the shelf to our customers, an automated facility for that…the application will be fully built for them.”
Ifbyphone is the first company to announce full conformity with the TSR, which was announced in late August.
“We truly believe that this reg is a good thing and that people responsibly using outbound telephone services will see that their services become more effective because people will get less voice spam phone calls,” says Shapiro, who notes that many companies will likely not be in compliance with the TSR by the Dec. 1 deadline.
“Unless your telephone application provider clearly notifies you of this, if you’re a small or medium-sized business…they would never even know this existed,” he says. “So part of what we’ll be doing is communicating to our customers that this is a new regulation, we’re going to make it easy for you to adhere to the regulation, but you need to know about it.”