Robocalls to consumers are at a record high, and could continue to climb, report the Washington Post and Gizmodo. Credit card companies, student lenders, retailers, car dealers and others are continuing to urge the Trump administration to loosen the reigns on regulations to reach customers via automated messaging.
Some U.S. companies rely on robocalls to conduct business and maintain relationships with consumers. For example: “Automated calls alerting a person that their prescription is available to pick up…seems like a valid use of the technology – as long as the customer actually consented to the call and services aren’t abused.”
As a result, these types of companies, which include Capital One, Navient, and Sirius XM, are “pushing to make sure any crackdown designed to cut back on spam calls won’t hurt their automated systems,” according to Gizmodo.
However, even though automated messages like robocalls can help a business thrive, Gizmodo says that they can still be guilty of loosening restrictions, and slipping up on how often they call customers – especially if they’re calling too much. Even Navient, a student loan servicer, “has regularly been accused of harassing consumers with automated calls.”
What decision makers should consider keeping in mind:
One call-blocking app, YouMail, reported that around 4 billion robocalls were made to cell phone users in June of this year, Washington Post reports, with a quarter of those calls aiming to “steal financial information or ensnare people in other serious scams.” This comes out to about 12.5 calls per person, Gizmodo says, becoming “the scourge of every cellphone owner.”
Despite consumers’ unhappiness at the amount of robocalls they’re receiving, companies still rely on these automated systems to reach them, and those companies plan on continuing to do so to keep business running as usual. This is the driving force behind why certain companies are lobbying the Trump administration to ease restriction on interruptions in these calls.
Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is studying how to regulate robocalls in response to a court decision that struck down its last set of protections. While a new decision may not be made for a while, decision makers can use this time to take stock of their company’s automated messaging processes and evaluate how they’re interacting with consumers. Is the company following robocall regulations, and providing useful information to its customers? Or, are those regulations too lax, and causing customers grief? Taking stock of these systems can help decision makers strike a happy medium between meeting the company’s needs and keeping customers happy and engaged. It might also help a company see where it stands in terms of any potential legal trouble, especially if it has been abusing automated messaging processes. Either way, companies have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the final decision.