Last Week’s Call Recording Settlement is a Stern Reminder

A number of our clients have recently asked us about state call recording laws and best practices.  Just last week, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts agreed to pay $7.3 million to settle a California call recording class action filed by plaintiff Joyce Roberts.  The lawsuit alleges that in 2012, Wyndham routed certain reservations calls to an outside call center, Aegis, who failed to disclose calls would be recorded.  A number of other defendants were part of the suit because they also used Aegis – Travelodge, Ramada, Knights Inn, Days Inn and Super 8, to name a few.  Valid claimants will receive at least $150, according to the settlement documents; the plaintiff’s lawyers are to receive $1.8 million.  The case is Joyce Roberts, et al. v. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts LLC, et al., Case No. 5:12-cv-05083, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  The case is a stern reminder to ensure that your vendors are properly disclosing that calls may be recorded.  On an inbound call, you can use an automated disclosure if you have the functionality.  If not, ensure your live agents orally inform the consumer the call is recorded at the beginning of the conversation.  Courts have routinely held that if you disclose the call recording at the beginning, and if they remain on the line without objection, they have consented (“Hi, this is Joey Agent on a recorded line calling about…”).