TeleDirect International, Inc.
17255 North 82nd Street
. Scottsdale, AZ 85255
. (480) 585-6464
Performance without Annoyance
TeleDirect’s Liberation® 6000 Will Minimize Annoyance and
Help Call Centers to Comply with the New FTC / FCC Telemarketing Regulations -
Without Sacrificing Outbound Dialing Performance
. . . . . . . . . .
A White Paper from
TeleDirect International, Inc.
ConsumerCare: Performance without Annoyance
TeleDirect’s Liberation® 6000 Will Minimize Annoyance and Help Call
Centers to Comply with the New FTC / FCC Telemarketing Regulations -
Without Sacrificing Outbound Dialing Performance
A recent study entitled “Economic Impact, U.S. Direct Marketing Today” by the Direct
Marketing Association reported that telephone marketing is the number one direct
marketing sales medium, ahead of direct mail, newspapers, television, magazines,
and the web. In fact, outbound telephone sales generated over $660 billion in
revenue in 2001, accounting for 6% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most effective direct marketing mediums,
telemarketing has been misused. In some cases, this misuse has resulted in the
annoyance of consumers who have complained of being called too often, at
inappropriate times, with long periods of “dead air” and hang-ups. In other cases, the
results are much more damaging. The FTC estimates that losses specifically caused
by fraudulent telemarketers range from at least $3 billion to as much as $40 billion
In order to reduce these annoying and sometimes unscrupulous activities, President
George W. Bush, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Timothy J. Muris, and
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael K. Powell announced
the opening of the National Do Not Call Registry (NDNCR) on June 27, 2003. By
implementing this new registry, along with other proposed changes to their respective
Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA),
the FTC and FCC are forcing outbound call center operators to rethink the way they
do business and utilize technology.
Organizations that use telemarketing to solicit new business are discovering that
compliance is now more challenging than ever, and the penalties for not following the
new regulations are severe. In fact, within a month of the opening of the National Do
Not Call Registry, over 25 million numbers were registered. And each one of these
numbers represents a potential $11,000 fine (per incident) if contacted by a
telemarketer after October 1 of 2003.
To make matters worse, there is a great deal of confusion over what is required in
order to comply. Certain suppliers in the market are claiming that the only way to
comply with the new regulations, and thus reduce culpability, is to simply set the
predictive dialer to pass all calls through to an agent. While this approach ensures
compliance with certain aspects of the new rules, it dramatically reduces the
• Utilize a predictive dialer that ensures no more than 3% of the calls connected
to a consumer are abandoned (measured per campaign over a 24 hour period
for FTC compliance, and over a 30 day period for FCC compliance)
• Allow each telemarketing call to ring for at least 15 seconds (4 complete rings)
• Connect the call with a sales representative within 2 seconds of the
consumer’s completed greeting
• Play a pre-disconnect announcement to the consumer consisting of the
company name and phone number, if for any reason the call cannot be
connected to a sales representative within 2 seconds of the consumer’s
• Maintain records showing compliance with the requirements for abandonment
rate, ring time and pre disconnect announcement.
The new FTC/FCC regulations also require that telemarketers transmit their telephone
number, and if possible, their company name, to consumers’ Caller ID service. This
provision will take effect on January 1, 2004.
Introduction to ConsumerCare
TeleDirect delivers all of the features required for compliance under the umbrella
name of “Consumer Care.” This program revolves around a comprehensive set of
features that are built directly into the Liberation 6000 solution and minimize consumer
annoyance while at the same time ensuring compliance with federal and state
Over its 20 year life, TeleDirect has become acutely aware of the importance of
making a good impression on the consumer. In this business, the old adage that you
never get a second chance to make a first impression really does hold true. Bob
Bensmen, President and CEO of the Ver-a-fast Corporation, sums up the thoughts of
many of our customers – ““We rely on TeleDirect solutions to help drive our
success. Liberation 6000 allows us to optimize the effectiveness of our customer
dialogs and campaigns. The open nature of the solution allows us to easily integrate
with our clients’ data sources. And we rest easy knowing that we’re always in
compliance with regulations.”
We know that anything that annoys the consumer will ultimately hurt our customers.
So when we engineer our software, using technology to eliminate these consumer
frustrations it is the number one priority. For example, we were one of the first vendors
to come up with a selectable abandonment rate, which enables clients, to select and
set their abandonment rate based upon the type of calling campaign they are running.
In order to exceed FTC/FCC and customer expectations, TeleDirect has invested a
tremendous amount of time and money in research and development to eliminate
annoyance elements like dead air, hang-ups, and errant calling. Liberation 6000 will
enable customers to comply with all of the current FTC/FCC regulations for predictive
Once the National/State DNC list has been updated with the appropriate records,
Liberation 6000 import routines automatically propagate the numbers out to the
individual Client lists and flag the appropriate records so that they will never be dialed.
These records are tagged with the date they are modified and the source of the DNC
number. Liberation 6000 also includes a list editor which allows the program
supervisor to update DNC records on the fly. In addition, each number is checked
against all appropriate tables, real time before dialing, thus providing an additional
level of assurance that a restricted number on the NDNCR will not be dialed by the
Liberation 6000 system.
The FTC/FCC considers the abandonment of any outbound telephone call made by a
predictive dialer to be an abusive telemarketing practice and a violation of their
telemarketing regulations. An outbound telephone call is considered abandoned if a
consumer answers the phone and is not subsequently connected to a live agent within
2 seconds of their completed greeting. However, under the “Safe Harbor” provision of
the TSR, the telemarketer will not be fined for violating this regulation if they employ
technology that ensures that the abandonment rate does not exceed more than 3% of
the calls answered by a consumer, measured per day per dialing campaign. This 3%
abandonment regulation will go into effect along with the NDNCR on October 1 of
2003. Therefore, if a predictive dialer calls 500 homes on November 1, 2003 for
example, and connects with 100 consumers (400 having been answered by voice
mail, fax machines, or not answered, etc), the predictive dialer must connect at least
97 of those calls to a live agent in order to comply.
TeleDirect Solution: Immediate Detect and Connect
Liberation 6000 utilizes highly sophisticated, accurate, and fast call progress detection
and record processing technology. This unique and patented technology ensures
immediate detection and connection so that consumers never experience “dead air”
and you never experience lost opportunity.
Here’s how it works:
When a call is placed to a contact, Liberation 6000 implements two unique stages of
call detection; Pre-connect Analysis and Post-connect Analysis. In order to meet the
FTC/FCC regulations, while at the same time sustaining high levels of contact center
productivity, it is critical that both of these stages of answer detection occur:
Pre-connect Analysis is the analysis that occurs after number is dialed, but before the
call is answered. During this stage, the Liberation 6000 is searching for a signal that a
phone has gone “off hook” this usually occurs within milliseconds.
Post Connect Analysis is the analysis that occurs after a call has been answered. It is
during this Post-connect Analysis stage that TeleDirect’s proprietary technology is
used to discern whether the call is a consumer, an answering machine, a fax machine,
a telezapper, or some other device.
TeleDirect has invested significant resources over the years to eliminate “dead air”.
We have continuously analyzed and tested the Liberation 6000 with the various
answering devices emerging in the marketplace, in order to optimize the speed and
accuracy of our call analysis and answer detection software. We have also developed
and patented highly efficient record processing methods in order to remove latency.
Liberation 6000 - Immediate Detect and Connect Complies With FTC/FCC 2 Second Rule
Automatic Number Identification (ANI)/Caller ID
The FTC/FCC considers it an abusive telemarketing practice, and thus a violation of
their regulations, for telemarketers to fail to transmit their telephone number to any
caller identification service used by the consumer. Therefore effective January 1,
2004, the telemarketer must transmit either their name, or the name of the seller they
are calling for and their phone number to the consumer when making calls for
TeleDirect Solution: Campaign Configurable ANI/Caller ID
Liberation 6000 supports campaign configurable ANI (automatic number
identification), and caller ID. This allows for total compliance with the regulation. And
like the pre-disconnect message feature described above, this identification is set at
the campaign level, allowing TeleServices Providers calling on behalf of multiple
clients the ability to send the name and number of the client company they are calling
on behalf of for each campaign.
Tracking and Reporting
In order to comply with the record keeping requirements of the new regulations, the
client must maintain records showing compliance with all of the regulations described
in this paper. These records can be stored in any form and in the same manner,
format, and place as they keep records used in the ordinary course of the business.
The records must be kept for a period of 24 months from the date of the call, and must
include all verifiable authorizations or records of express informed consent or express
Liberation 6000 includes automatic tracking of all compliance metrics for each dialed
call. These metrics are available in the form of standard compliance reports that are
included with the Liberation 6000 solution. These reports can be run for specific
Campaign and Date criteria, and can be used to show the FTC that the technology
that was employed by the telemarketer is in compliance with all telemarketing
regulations, including campaign abandonment setting, the minimum wait to disconnect
setting, and the status of the pre-disconnect announcement and caller ID settings. In
addition, the report provides a summary of all of the calls that were abandoned on that
date for that particular campaign. If the FTC requires more detail on a particular
abandoned call, that information can also be provided.
The Impact of Scripting on Compliance
The vast majority of the FTC TSR regulations (sections 310.3 and 310.4) address
deceptive or abusive telemarketing practices, most of which are the result of
misrepresentations by a calling agent. These misrepresentations, whether made
Call Recording & Compliance
There are a number of requirements within the revised TSR and TCAP regulations
that do not specifically pertain to predictive dialer technology, but are nevertheless
supported by the Liberation 6000 solution. One example of this is the ability to record
calls that involve either a commitment to pay or the actual exchange of payment
information. The regulations state that this type of call must be recorded for
verification purposes. All recordings are tagged by the call date, the call time, the
agent ID, and a unique customer identifier that makes it easy to search and manage
recordings after they are stored in the audio library.
Unlike most recording solutions, Liberation 6000 is able to embed the recording
functionality behind the scenes of the agents’ DialogGuide script interface. The
recording can be automated to start and stop based upon particular events that occur
with the flow of the script, thus reducing the potential for agent error. This is
particularly important as failure to record certain calls could require you to contact the
customer after the call, which provides an opportunity for them to back out of the sale.
And by building the recording into the script the customer has the ability to selectively
record only the piece of the transaction that they need to record by law.
Given the broad scope of the new predictive dialer regulations and the NDNCR, and
the strict penalties for non-compliance telemarketers need advanced technology now
more than ever in order to maximize campaign productivity and to help them guard
against consumer annoyance and potential compliance liabilities.
The good news is that TeleDirect has spent the past 20 years developing high
performance solutions for leading teleservices companies in the business to consumer
market sector. We understand consumers, what they expect and what it takes to
convert contacts into sales. Liberation 6000 is the result of continuous innovation and
the only solution available today that will deliver true performance without annoyance.
TeleDirect’s Liberation 6000 - ConsumerCare™ solution includes the following
1. Simple & Precise Do-Not-Call Management
2. Campaign Selectable Abandonment Rates
3. Campaign Selectable Abandonment Variables
4. 15 Second Minimum Wait to Answer Setting
5. Immediate Detect and Connect
6. Announce Before Disconnect
7. Campaign Configurable ANI/Caller ID
8. Effective Scripting & Recording
9. Comprehensive Compliance Reporting
Most of these features are available at no additional charge for TeleDirect Liberation
6000 customers who are under a customer support agreement. This is an example of
our commitment to help protect our customer’s investment.