Is cold calling illegal? Here are a few things you should be aware of
To answer this, cold calling is not illegal. It is still widely used by companies in different countries around the world. Each of these countries follows a uniform set of standards and compliances when making calls to customers.
However, this service has gained a controversial reputation with the existing cases of scams and other fraudulent activities done through outbound calls. With this, you need to be careful about choosing the right company for your cold calling needs.
As a business, you have the responsibility to be aware of the rules on cold calling. This includes local and international regulations and compliances. This is to protect your company’s reputation and retain your customer’s trust.
Countries have different regulations on cold calling
Different countries have a set of laws in making cold calls for customers. Usually, cold calls are done within office hours, with basic identities of callers established and scripts following the standard protocol of their companies. Additional information such as payment processing may vary depending on the country you’re in.
In the UK, for instance, if you’re selling products above £42, you need to provide a 14-day written notice to cancel the agreement. Otherwise, your company will have a violation of the country’s Trading Standards.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission handles cold calling laws in the US. You first need to secure written approval from a customer before you can charge their accounts for their purchases. Customers cannot give their account or credit card numbers as well over the line since this should be included in their written agreement.
It follows a specific time frame
All cold callers can only make calls from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. in the US, you can call a customer at home between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM. In Australia, it is from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays and up to 5:00 PM on weekends.
Unless you have a customer’s approval or they have been an established client, you cannot call them beyond the prescribed hours.
Cold callers should establish their identity
As a standard protocol, all cold callers need to establish their identities when calling. An agent has to provide their name and company, and who they are calling on behalf.
They also need to be transparent and stay true to what they sell. Whether it’s real estate, mobile plans, or any other services, they should provide accurate details of what they sell and the risks of their purchases.
The Do Not Call (DNC) list
Each country also has a specific list of Do Not Call (DNC) registry your business has to follow. A customer can also list their numbers on the registry by reaching out to their respective localities.
As a business, you are required to regularly check and have access to the DNC list. You can do this by registering at your respective government agency who handles the list. Violating the registry can put your business and outsourcing partner at risk.
When you outsource your cold calling services to a BPO, you will be provided with a dedicated team that complies under international standards, such as ISO and PCI DSS.
Having these certifications can increase your operation’s credibility. These also help you secure your data and protect you in case of anomalies within your operations.
When is cold calling illegal
Per usual standards, cold calling will be illegal when it involves the following:
- Use of “robocalls” or automated calling systems
- Use of fax machines
- Doing unsolicited calls for numbers in the DNC list
- Violating one or more regulations when cold calling