You may be aware of the changes to US regulations on outbound IVR calls, or “robocalling”, which come into effect in October 2013. If so, I hope you understand the reasons for the new FCC regulations, and the effect they will have on your business. If not, read on!

Consumer backlash to relatively unconstrained IVR cold-calling has resulted in significant changes to the FCC regulations which govern outbound calling.

These changes could soon extend beyond the USA, but for now they only affect calls originating and terminating in the USA.

Previously

Many companies used the “established business relationship” exemption to claim that FCC restrictions did not apply to outbound ivr calls to anyone who had previously called them. This meant that telemarketing, post-call surveys, and other follow-up calls for whatever reason could be defended.

The FCC has now removed this exemption for telemarketing calls, with two important effects:

  • If you make outbound calls for other purposes, such as post-call surveys, you’d better make sure there’s no marketing in them
  • If you do make telemarketing calls, you need “express written consent” from the callee, which is a big ask

The FCC also now requires “express consent” (not written) for ANY outbound IVR call to a mobile/cell phone. This includes post-call surveys, alerts, and other courtesy calls. So:

  • Only make outbound calls to fixed line numbers
  • Make sure you have – and retain – express consent, either in an IVR log file or a whole-call recording, for several years after the outbound call – another big ask

 There are other new requirements too

If this affects your business, you should look into it yourself. USA only for now, but these things have a habit of creeping across the pond, so be prepared for similar changes in Europe and elsewhere!

For a slightly longer discussion on outbound IVR, see this useful article click here: