Dealing with Telemarketers…the FTC and Seinfeld Way

The FTC is cracking down on telemarketers in a big way. The Federal Trade Commission unfurled Tuesday results of an enormous telemarketing fraud sweep, stating it had filed more than 180 cases that represent thousands of alleged victims and millions of dollars in losses. The agency said the sweep, named “Operation Tele-Phoney,” was the largest telemarketing sweep it had ever coordinated.

It’s been roughly three years since the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry legislation went into effect, yet many marketers continue to hide their heads in the sand when it comes to regulatory compliance standards surrounding their outbound initiatives. Two reasons for this avoidance are that some enterprises remain unaware of the laws and of the responsibility businesses have to meet the regulations, while other corporate leaders fear not being able to replace outbound telemarketing dollars. Either way, businesses are beginning to pay the price for refraining from compliance, as the above example shows.

That said, organizations such as the DMA, (Direct Marketing Association), has praised the legislation for measures to purge the list of unused numbers and for protecting “consumer choice.” While the advent of Do Not Call has caused overall revenue of telemarketers to decline, it was welcomed by some in the industry for eliminating wasted calls made to consumers who don’t want to receive them.

The bottom line is this: I hate telemarketers as much as the next person, but it does serve its purpose within the scope of CRM and making money. That said, as DNC legislation continues to put pressure on outbound telemarketers, companies must educate themselves on how to market within the boundaries of the legislation and focus on appropriately altering their campaigns. This back-to-the-drawing-board approach, although federally mandated, is an opportunity for companies to adjust their telemarketing strategies to meet compliance demands while increasing outbound marketing revenue rewards.

But until that time comes, here’s how to deal with telemarketers, courtesy of one of my all-time favorite shows…