Disclaimer-I am not an attorney and nothing stated in this post should in any way substitute for seeking proper legal advice and guidance on any issues discussed here.
Compliance with telemarketing laws and leads is one of the least understood areas of lead generation. At least 5 or 6 times per tradeshow I must have the compliance conversation with a potential client at our booth and explain why they shouldn’t be calling the leads they are calling on.
If you are calling back leads and you have not scrubbed all of your leads against your organization’s own National SAN#, purged your leads for cell phone numbers, and ensured that your leads are not on a state specific do not call (DNC) lists – you had better have a really good handle on the telemarketing rules and regulations at a Federal level and at least know the laws of the most restrictive states to know if leads you are calling are exempt from DNC scrubbing.
One of the biggest mistakes I hear from potential clients when working our booth at tradeshows is that organizations think they can call any lead forever – without scrubbing the lead. There are Federal and state specific exemption time limits for calling back inquiries and they can differ dramatically. The Federal rules allow for calling back an inquiry for up to 90 days as long as the person does not reside on your organization’s master do not call list, but a couple of the most restrictive states say you cant call a person back who inquires with your organization without meeting the exemption for express consent. As you can imagine, meeting the express consent exemption is a bit tougher than meeting an inquiry exemption. To make matters more confusing – you can’t easily answer the question of what constitutes an inquiry, because it depends…
Depending on whether you are calling back an existing customer, a past customer, an inquiry, or an express consent lead – the rules and exemptions change. Depending on the classification of the consumer you are calling you may be able to call for up to 90 days, up to 18 months, or not at all. You might be able to call cell phone numbers and you might not. We work with a couple different compliance attorneys and continually attend compliance webinars and seminars throughout the year to keep up with the laws. This requires an ongoing commitment to ensure you are calling and generating compliant leads.
These rules are infinitely more complicated than most people think and you are better off being safe than sorry. Two companies that frequently sponsor seminars and webinars regarding compliance with do not call (DNC) legislation are DNC Solution and Contact Center Compliance.