Many companies could benefit from using an auto dialer refrain because of questions about their legality. While it is true that abuse of dialer technology led to some restrictions by the government decades ago, dialers are legal as long as you follow the rules.
What is an Auto Dialer?
Auto dialers are tools that allow your business or personal phone to work through a call list automatically. They can be set to only dial when you choose to initiate, dial at the end of a call automatically, move straight to the next, or queue calls by dialing out during your current call. Not every dialer can do all three, so it’s essential to know the features of any dialer you’re considering for your business.
Today’s dialers are typically software packages and not hardware tools. They use VOIP, smartphone integration, and other network technologies to deliver all the tools you need to plan, implement, and work on a campaign. They also have team management tools like the team dashboard, easy campaign assignment, and task delegation with timelines. That makes them essential to any high-volume calling business when they are used within the bounds of the law.
TCPA & Auto Dialer Software Law
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 limits auto-dialers, pre-recorded messages, and cold calling for marketing purposes. It does not prohibit dialer use, but it restricts when different types of numbers can be used and when they must be scrubbed. Using an autodialer legally is a matter of obeying those rules alongside the more general regulations in the act, such as the restriction on dialing times to after eight in the morning and before nine at night.
What Type of Auto Dialer Calls Are Prohibited by the TCPA?
Most call types prohibited for telemarketer use can still be employed if the person opts in to the communication by providing the contact information and consent in writing. Some can also be used for non-marketing purposes or marketing to existing service customers.
- Telemarketing autodialer calls and any pre-recorded voice calls to mobile numbers are prohibited unless the recipient has provided written permission
- Calls to landlines that use pre-recorded voice messages for marketing purposes
- Text messages to mobile numbers for marketing purposes are treated as calls when implementing mobile restrictions
Calls to landline numbers using an autodialer are legal if there is no pre-recorded voice message. Consent stipulations come into play on landlines only when considering whether you can use a pre-recorded message as a point of contact. Written permission for cell phone calls or texts can be obtained with opt-in forms or by setting up a text number that adds contacts to your lists when they text to subscribe. It’s also worth noting that pre-recorded messages to landlines are allowed if they are not for marketing or sales purposes, like informational calls or polls.
Key Takeaways To Auto Dial Legally
Here is what you need to remember:
- Scrub any cell phone numbers from cold calling lists that were obtained outside opt-in channels
- Scrub landline phones from those same cold lists if they were received outside those channels
- Avoid using pre-recorded voice messaging on any autodialer marketing campaign that is based on lists that include mobile phones
- You may legally use both a dialer and voice recordings for informational calls, business calls for non-marketing purposes, and emergency calls to landlines
- Go ahead and use auto-dialers for cell numbers that were obtained from opt-in sources like interest cards or online forms
It’s not hard to stay on the right side of the law when you use state-of-the-art tools like BatchDialer, which has built-in litigation scrubbing, DNC list scrubbing, and customizable rules for flagging and removing numbers by type. That makes it easy to remove cell phones or landlines as needed to stay in compliance.