If I had to make a top five list of things small businesses struggle with, this would definitely make the list: telemarketing compliance. Calling prospects may feel like a harmless practice, but there are many legal landmines awaiting the unwary. And when I say landmine, I mean it: telemarketing laws can be incredibly punitive.
For example, the South Carolina Telephone Privacy Protection Act allows successful plaintiffs to recover $1,000 per violation, or $5,000 if the violation is found to be willful. Even a single phone call can cost you.
Does your business do any of the following?
- Place unsolicited calls to potential customers?
- Place calls using a “spoofed” Caller ID number?
- Use any automated software programs to place calls to cell phones?
- Send automated text messages?
- Place calls to collect a debt?
- Leave prerecorded voice messages on
- Send unsolicited faxes (I know…what’s a fax machine, right?)?
- Place unsolicited calls, in general?
If so, it’s time for you to do a gut check on your telemarketing compliance. While a thorough compliance review may not be cheap, it will be worth every penny to understand how your business interacts with telemarketing laws so that you can mitigate your exposure and avoid “much pain very ouch.” Trust me, you’d much rather be talking to a lawyer about compliance than about that lawsuit you just got served with!