When companies (especially small to medium sized businesses) outsource telemarketing activity, they often overlook a number of issues relating to legislation. This article does not constitute legal advice. We are not lawyers but we have been involved in so many telemarketing projects that there are a number of legal issues which must be addressed. Here are the common things to consider.
Firstly, you need to consider the contract (the legal agreement between yourselves and the outsourced call centre. We are often amazed at the number of projects where there is no contract in place especially when the work is offshored. A contract is essential if only to place more gravity on certain issues. The contract itself should always be under the laws of the country you are based in as opposed to that of your vendor.
In terms of specific legislation, there are a number of things to consider. You must consider the Telephone Preference Service. Normally, the client will be responsible for providing the data but if they are not, the contract must be include provisions for this. Enforcement of The Telephone Preference Services is weak in The UK compared with the Do Not Call List in The United States but it is increasing and you must ensure compliance. Never buy data from overseas companies as it is normally stolen from other clients but wherever you source the data from, you must ensure it is TPS compliant and that it remains compliant with regular updates.
Possibly the most important piece of legislation that is often overlooked is The Data Protection Act. Simply because you outsource your telemarketing does not negate your responsibility to protect the personal data of your customers or your prospects. You need to consider the way in which this data is processed by your outsourced vendor and ensure you are fully compliant especially when it comes to financial informaion.
Silent call legilsation governs the way in which predictive dialling equipment is used. There are strict limits on the volume of calls which are picked up by the prospect where there is no call centre agent available to speak to them. Many call centres (especially those overseas) pay little regard to these laws and you as the client for whom these calls are being made are ultimately responsible and can face prosecution and hefty fines. Talk Talk received large fines when 2 of their South African call centres breached these rules. Talk Talk were able to pass on these fines to their vendors but this is not always the case especially with smaller vendors.
There is plenty of other legislation which impacts