In our inaugural blog, ‘Why a monthly wash is good for your (telemarketing) health’, we explained why your calling lists need to be washed against the Do Not Call Register. Now we ask: what’s the best way to be 100 per cent sure your calling list has actually been washed?
The answer? That’s right ... wash it yourself.
But while doing your own washing is an easy and cheap way to obtain peace of mind, some telemarketers use calling lists provided by others, such as data providers or franchise groups. It’s often assumed that these lists have already been washed and that they’re ready to use, but making this assumption can be risky.
Remember how important it is to make sure that your calling list has been washed. If you do contact a number that’s listed on the register, liability for that contact will rest with you—the person who made the call or fax, or caused the call or fax to be made—not with the person who supplied the calling list (although they may be liable too).
Although we think that the best way to ensure you’re working with a clean list is to wash it yourself, if you do choose to use purchased calling lists then make sure you follow the below tips on how to reduce the risks.
Use the right cycle
Be wary if a list supplier assures you that the washed list can be used indefinitely. No, it can’t! Calling lists must be washed on a regular basis—at least every 30 days.
Also be careful if a list supplier assures you that individuals on the list have consented to receiving telemarketing. Even if they have, you may not always be able to rely on consent given to another person (such as a list supplier). If the person who receives your call or fax decides to complain, the burden of proof would lie with you to establish that you had, or could reasonably infer, consent at the time the contact was made. Is this worth the potential damage to your reputation?
A clean sheet
If you use pre-washed calling lists from another party, and you choose not to wash the lists yourself, set up a clear and comprehensive contract with the list supplier that includes (at minimum):
- an undertaking from the supplier that supplied lists have been washed against the register
- a requirement for the list supplier to also supply washing receipts to show when the washing was done.
And finally, make sure you call the numbers that have been provided to you within 30 days of the stated washing date.
Remember, the best way to ensure you don’t break the law is to wash calling lists yourself, even if someone else says they’ve already washed them. Washing is easy and cheap, and offers peace of mind. Avoid compliance messes later by doing your own washing now.