Debt Collections: One Manual Call at a Time

By Chris Bohlin | Small Business

Over the past few weeks there has been an increased level of attention given to a recent court ruling from the state of Wisconsin – Nelson vs. Santander Consumer USA, Inc. While I do not wish to discuss my opinions on the ruling or provide legal advice about how agencies should interpret the ruling (or talk about the fact that calling a single consumer over 1,000 times might be a bad idea!), I did want to outline how SoundBite helps its clients find a viable solution for addressing the technological challenges brought forth by the ruling.

At the heart of the matter, the court ruled that calls to mobile phones must be done manually and not via any system with the capacity to make automated dials. The challenge itself is quite simple. How does an organization, charged with recovering debt from consumers, make enough ‘manual’ phone calls to a growing mobile population to reach enough consumers to actually make any money?

That is a pretty tough pill to swallow given that I can pick up my mobile phone and use a one touch speed dial to launch calls, or even download apps that allow for lists of numbers to be autodialed. Additionally, many phone systems built in the last 20 years have a similar capacity to autodial. Although it seems nearly impossible to ensure that any call you make, from virtually any system or device, would not be launched from a system with the capacity to autodial; SoundBite provides a configuration with its telephony servers that will ONLY support manual dialing. Furthermore, SoundBite enables its clients to keep the database that stores the numbers separate from the telephony components that are used to place the calls.

The solutions provided by SoundBite and other vendors are responses to the ruling, similar to those made years ago when preview dialing was first introduced. Today, we are able to take this a step further. Separation of servers, combined with the manual act of launching a call and requiring the agent to manage this call from ring to answer, may put these solutions in a position to provide protection in the event of litigation related to this ruling. The question collections organizations will need to ask is whether or not they can be as productive having agents physically pick up a phone and dial versus using a solution that helps make the process more efficient and provides better reporting and tracking.

SoundBite continues to provide its clients with tools and solutions to help address today’s evolving compliance needs. Learn more about SoundBite’s Compliance Suite and Cloud Predictive Dialer.

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