TCPA Penalties That Will Make You Triple Check Your Call Center Compliance
TCPA call center compliance entails a number of regulations, responsibilities, and practices that are intended to protect consumers from robocalls. As a call center though, when it comes to TCPA compliance, much of the focus is on how to comply in order to protect your call center from being penalized for violating regulations.
Implementing and monitoring call center compliance is no small task; think of the time and attention you would spend watching all of the Star Wars movies — only with more legal lingo and fewer lightsabers.
A good place to start when it comes to TCPA compliance is understanding and staying up-to-date with the recent regulations. Another pro tip is to have a compliance checklist prepared to remind you what to do and not to do.
One of the next things that might help your call center stay informed and on top of things, is to be aware of the TCPA fines and penalties that result from not staying compliant. I don’t say this to mean that everyone should be motivated by fear because that might not be the healthiest or effective way to look at your call center’s compliance. However, I do think it can be helpful to know what you’re up against and what is potentially at stake if your call center compliance isn’t up to the mark.
Let’s dive into a few penalties associated with TCPA violations and examples of companies that ran into trouble with their TCPA compliance. (Note: this is not a fully inclusive list of all penalties and regulations and is not intended to be used as legal advice.)
The penalties for not following the TCPA are on a per-violation basis. The standard penalty is up to $500 per violation, which can rise up to $1,500 per violation for knowing or willful violations. These fines can add up extremely quickly because the TCPA allows for uncapped statutory damages. Not to mention, TCPA penalties can be assessed multiple times per phone call if a call violates more than one regulation.
In 2017, Dish Network went to trial for allegedly knowingly calling numbers on the Do Not Call registry. Although the network argued that their telemarketing provider was at fault, the jury ended up fining Dish $400 per call — resulting in having to pay approximately $210 million.
In 2020, the health supplement maker, ViSalus, was fined for allegedly violating the TCPA by making approximately 1.8 million unsolicited robocalls. The judge decided the company would be fined no more than $500 per call, resulting in paying $925 million for TCPA violations.
In 2020, the FCC fined several individuals for telemarketing violations, allegedly making over one billion spoofed robocalls in less than 5 months. In addition, the calls were knowingly made to consumers on the federal Do Not Call list and wireless consumers that had not given prior consent. As a result, the FCC issued a $255 million fine.
Travel Club Parties
In 2015, the FCC penalized $2.9 million against Travel Club Marketing Inc. for violating the TCPA by making 185 unsolicited, prerecorded robocalls to cell phones and residential lines without prior consent.
Perhaps in this instance, we take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and “learn from the mistakes of others.” With so many details involved in TCPA compliance, it’s easy to see how call centers can miss a thing or two along the way. That’s why it’s important to equip your call center with the right tools that help automate compliance practices and update with new regulations.
Request a demo to learn how TCN’s Compliance Suite can help your call center stay on the right track.