A free new software program reportedly blocks and automatically hangs up on robo-calls from debt collectors and more. Nomorobo is a cloud-based technology that works for people who have Internet-based VoIP phone service. This service is being introduced at a time when compliance issues with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including the use of emerging technologies like VoIP, are a hot topic in the debt collection industry.
Nomorobo uses a service called “simultaneous ring,” which lets customers have multiple phone lines ring at once; most VoIP phone companies offer this service. If your phone company offers simultaneous ring and you sign up for Nomorobo, all of your calls will also go to Nomorobo’s computers. Nomorobo uses caller ID and call frequency information to screen them, and if the software determines that a call is a robocall, it hangs up after the first ring.
Granted, this means that if a consumer signs up for Nomorobo, every single incoming call may be screened by the software via simultaneous ring. Nonetheless, so far 25,000 people have signed up for Nomorobo.
Technology like this, and the trade-offs it provides in protection and privacy, just go to show how important it is for debt collectors to be on top of compliance when it comes to VoIP lines. Specifically, collection agencies risk TCPA violations when calling a VoIP line that’s not free to users. Even the exemption for pre-recorded messages to residential lines may be limited if a consumer uses a VoIP line. As a best practice, collectors should try to find out as soon as possible if the line they’re calling is a VoIP line.
Learn more about TCPA best practices with our newest report, Compliance Overview: TCPA. Use real-world tools like sample voicemail scripts (page 9) and the latest data on TCPA lawsuits (page 11) to make sure your agency is protected from costly litigation. Collection agencies need to be prepared for the growing trend of TCPA litigation to continue into 2014. This includes being aware of recent rule changes and what they mean for the industry.