By Phillip W. Duff, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting
As a consultant to the debt collection industry over the last 15 years I have seen many ways to complete the same job. Some companies are risk adverse and other companies embrace the risk. So what is your risk level with the current hurdles of calling cell phones?
Since the FCC ruling in July I’ve been talking to different people within the industry to find out how they are now making outbound calls to the cell phones in their portfolios. And I have gotten many different answers to the same question, so let’s explore a few.
So the most risk adverse companies are not even calling cell phones. They have increased thier letter campaigns and are working hard to try to understand consent and revocation of consents based on the current FCC ruling.
The next group are definitely calling but trying to do so in a way that makes more business sense but provides them some comfort with the eventuality that they will end up in court. This group is calling from a desktop phone with the hopes that when they are sued they can defend the action by standing in the court room holding up the desktop phone and stating “this is what we are dialing from”.
The next group are the ones that are not making decisions themselves, instead following the decisions of their vendors. Most of this group are doing whatever their dialer vendor or software vendor has suggested. The larger dialer companies have created new products with fancy new names that they feel are compliant but it’s still provide the dialer company with revenue.
One of the biggest vendors in this segment has told its largest clients that thier solution is the best one for them since they have to dial millions of numbers monthly. Yet several of those larger clients have come to me looking for a backup plan when the vendor solution is deemed noncompliant.
The last segment of companies are already stepping over the line in their collection policies so they have very little concern over getting sued for TCPA violations. This small segment of Agencies are focusing on collecting the money not compliance and many of them our the cause for the TCPA.
Some of the companies above are using other vendors to make those phone calls allowing them to focus on the collection process rather than be labor-intensive dialing process. By using transfer agents these companies are able to define the risk level and have the vendor make the appropriate hardware and labor changes to comply to their risk level.
The biggest issue with the recent FCC ruling is the issue regarding revocation of consent. It is the opinion of the FCC that the consumer can revoke his consent at any time in any manner and the burden of proof Will be on the calling agency not the consumer. So managing consents and revocation of consents may actually be the bigger problem for many ARM companies.
If you’re interested in learning more about solutions to issues within the debt collection industry contact me directly at [email protected]