Is the FCC Investigating Your Platform?

By: Tim Prugar

If your business model is similar to Dialing Services, LLC...they very well might be. 

Late last week, the FCC adopted a "Forfeiture Order" against Dialing Services, imposing fines totaling $2.9 million, citing their practice of placing pre-recorded calls to mobile phones without prior opt-in consent. The FCC asserts that Dialing Services placed more than 4.7 million calls over a 3 month period, ignoring multiple FCC warnings and a citation in the process. The FCC found that not only did Dialing Services offer a spoofing functionality for their clients, but they also participated in the creation of the content. 

So why is this decision significant?

1. Dialing Services is a Platform

This decision has enormous significance because it's not simply going after Dialing Service's clients - it's going after the platform itself. This may signify a sea change in legal thinking, identifying platforms that offer robodialing services as equality culpable for TCPA violations as firms that execute the calls. This is a big, big deal. 

2. Potential Crackdown on "Neighbor Spoofing"

The use of spoofing isn't limited to account takeover or prank calls. The practice of "Neighbor Spoofing" - spoofing the area code of the person you're calling in order to increase the likelihood they answer - has been picking up steam in the sales world over the last 5-7 years. The FCC citing this practice explicitly in their Order may indicate a dedication to cracking down on this type of spoofing. It would certainly be in keeping with the current FCC's clear vow to reduce Robocalls. 

 

Tim Prugar is the Director of Customer Success at Next Caller. He can be reached at tim@nextcaller.com