California Sets Dialer Abandonment Rate

Share this content:
The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday gave final approval to new restrictions that would limit telemarketers to abandonment rates of less than 3 percent through the end of the year and 1 percent after Jan. 1, 2003.

In a 5-0 vote, the commission instituted the rules for hang-up or "abandoned" telemarketing calls, which take effect July 1. Abandoned calls often occur due to the use of predictive dialers, which are automated dialers that increase call center efficiency but sometimes place calls when no telemarketing agent is available.

Consumer groups, including AARP, have criticized telemarketers for abandoned calls, saying they often cause consumers to worry that they are being spied upon or harassed.

The commission defined abandoned calls as: those that disconnect after the called person answers; when the called party does not receive a response from a telemarketer within two seconds of picking up the line; or when no telemarketing agent is available within four seconds of the called person's phone going off the hook. The four-second standard is temporary, lasting until Jan. 1, the commission said.

Violators of the restriction would be subject to penalties of at least $500 and up to $20,000. Calls to consumers with whom a company has an existing business relationship are exempt.

California state lawmakers directed the commission to institute rules for abandonment rates last year. The Direct Marketing Association's standard for abandoned calls is 5 percent.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above