Editors note: A ‘bazillion’ is not an actual monetary denomination
Unless you are a Hawaiian-based Veterinarian, you may have missed the story of the rogue Gecko dialer who dialed a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii marine mammal animal center. Apparently unfamiliar with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which restricts telemarketing calls via voice, SMS texts, or fax, the mischievous lizard rang the center’s main number multiple times. Or according to a Hawaiian Telecom representative, a ‘Bazillion’ times.
But when Veterinarian Claire Simeone of the Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital answered the phone, she wasn’t greeted with a bothersome credit card offer, or cable company offering her rich incentives to switch from the office’s current provider. Instead, she was met with complete silence. After some sleuthing around and concluding that the dialing was coming from inside the center, the source of the cavalcade of calling was a gold dust day gecko, making calls with its cute little toes.
There is no telling if the gecko was aware that the U.S. Congress enacted the TCPA in 1991 to address the growing number of telemarketing calls that were becoming increasingly disruptive to the lives of consumers and their privacy rights, or if it was willfully ignoring the law. In either case, the key takeaway here is that any marketer could use a regular refresher on TCPA compliance. Here are a few tips:
#1. Remove the capabilities that trigger the TCPA “autodial/auto-message capacity” criteria while maintaining the efficiencies lost when using other vendors’ manual dialing systems.
#2. Use advanced list and campaign management for precise routing control of consent vs. non-consent wireless numbers within the same record.
#3. Maintain your ability to take advantage of routing, tracking, and recording capabilities that are needed to meet the many non-TCPA legal requirements.
TCPA rulings are in a state of considerable flux so it helps to one, not give free-wheeling reptiles access to call lists, and two, establish a relationship with a trusted partner who can help you build and execute an outbound call strategy that eliminates the need to choose between over complying with reduced profitability or under complying while risking significant legal and financial exposure.
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