Proposed FCC Rules Tighten Restrictions on Annoying Robocalls
You will need to get specific written permission from each person you may want to make contact with and be aware that your established contacts can rescind that permission any time they decide to. Equally important, the FCC intends to add some significant penalties to discourage such calls, and they plan to levy those penalties aggressively on anyone who breaks the rules. Also gone is the ability to call someone based on someone else's permission. Notable examples that were given in today's FCC briefing included a recounting of a person who received hundreds of calls from a debt collector because they were listed as an alternative contact on someone else's loan application. If you're one of those companies that outsource calls to call centers outside the United States, the FCC can still come after you if you are operating in the United States, and the phone companies now have full permission to block those calls. For most companies, however, this is good news. You're not prohibited from staying in touch with customers; you just have to follow the rules. This will mean that your customers will be far less harassed by calls they don't want and that could mean they'll have the time and patience to actually talk to you.Speaking as a business owner, these new rules offer a chance at welcome relief. What I've noticed is that the companies I want to do business with never employ robocalls, make unsolicited calls or send unwanted text messages to my cell phone. They use advertising that I can look at when I'm ready to think about whatever it is that they're selling. Or they send letters. Perhaps this new FCC rule will be a boon to the struggling U.S. Postal Service. It's the bogus businesses, like the robot named "Jessica" that promises to give me a "breakthrough" in my search engine results, who only calls when I'm on deadline for my eWEEK column. Perhaps, I'll no longer have to think about terminating the robot with an RJ-11 connector. Am I ready for more limits on robocalls? You have no idea.
In addition, you and your employees won't be constantly harassed by people offering everything from dubious attempts to lend you money, even if you have "little or no credit," because you run a business—or to offer you insurance, Google listing services or any of the other dozens of weird offers that come out of the woodwork on a daily basis.