How to spot (and avoid) professional plaintiffs

  • Monday, 24th April, 2017
  • 08:50am
Ever heard of TCPA plaintiff Melody Stoops?  What about Cunningham, Aronson, Abramson, Childress or Zelma?  Roughly one-third of all TCPA claims are filed by someone who filed one previously.  Serial TCPA litigators continue to pose a significant threat to businesses who strive to comply with the law.
Train your phone agents and lead generators to recognize professional litigators.  Red flags include odd questions, such as: "Can you send me your DNC policy?"; "In what state are you incorporated?"; "Who owns the company?"; "Which company gave you my number?"; "I assume you're recording this?"; and "What sort of dialer are you using?"  Other indicators include any reference by them to the TCPA or if the agent can tell the consumer is recording the call on their own.  Your agent should immediately and politely terminate the call when confronted with evidence that the recipient may be a professional litigator. The lead should be flagged and calls to that number should be paused while management reviews the lead and determines whether it should be transferred to your internal DNC.
What about avoiding professional plaintiffs in the first place?  A number of mitigation strategies exist for reducing the likelihood of calling someone who routinely sues telemarketers. These include only calling with well-documented written consent, performing a "litigator scrub" on your data to remove high risk numbers, performing reassigned number or "call verification" scrubbing to reduce wrong number calls, and resisting the urge to over-dial on you data.  If you never call any one number more than a few times, even if a serial litigator slips through the cracks, they can only come after you for those few calls, rather than hundreds.  Finally, audit or terminate lead generators who claim they are selling "opt ins" but yet who frequently generate complaints and demand letters by individuals who deny they consented.
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