On August 1, 2017, the FTC announced they are back in the ring to fight against the delivery of unwanted calls. Exciting! So, how is the FTC fighting? They are releasing more information around the millions of consumer complaints to "boost industry efforts to stop unwanted calls before they reach consumers." Sigh…more uninformed knee jerk reaction from the federal government. This is NOT an area to boost innovation for call blocking. Do you know what you are encouraging?

Since when did the use of auto-dialers become an evil monster needing to be slayed by any and all who are willing to take up arms and charge into battle? We have bad actors taking advantage of a simple and highly effective technology to call millions of people. I ask that you stop for a moment and think about the good actors utilizing this technology. You may not be so quick to want start-ups jumping into the game of blocking calls.

As of today, at least the following industries deliver auto-dialed calls you WANT to receive – education, healthcare, utility, financial, commercial, travel to name a few. Schools rely heavily on the use of auto-dialers to inform parents of matters related to children. Utility companies deliver messages related to power outages and downed power lines. Fraud alerts from banks and credit companies help against identity theft. Pharmacies need to ensure patients pick up their prescription and use auto-dialers to inform patients. If we allow anyone to create an app that blocks autodialed calls, we are setting ourselves up for more harm to the consumers than the bad actors we deal with daily.

I'm not against putting more power and control in the hands of consumers, but I am against encouraging uninformed and inexperienced companies from building tools to deal with matters they know little about.

FTC Announcement on release of consumer complaint data.

 

 

 

Here we go again. Another company violating the Truth in CallerID Act because, well, it is just too simple to do and the rewards seem too great to not try. Wrong! Always wrong when you think you can get away with violating law. Listen up as I speak about this egregious calling practice. Kudos to the whistleblowers for exposing the depth of disregard for not only the law but customer experience. Let this be a lesson for all.

If you need help evaluating your compliance with calling best practices, then contact me at Rebekah@gloria-mac.com. I can help, but if you don't take my advice, I won't stick around to tell you I told you so. My rates still run lower than these fines.

With the FCC’s NPRM/NOI on the subject of Carrier Call Blocking, it is evident this problem cannot be solved unless the industries delivering calls step up and be a part of the solution. Comments have been submitted so listen to hear what was said.

As always, I am thrilled to see consumer responses. Please know it is more than the FCC who reads your comments. This is a topic that affects everyone in every industry, therefore many ears heard and many hearts care to stop this problem.

Here we go again! Another company abusing the use of this wonderful technology we call “robocall”. I stand with the FCC on slamming this individual with the record breaking fine of $120 million. Yes, you read that right. The amazing part, this fine was only based on 80,000 of the over 90 million calls he delivered. Ummm…if he actually had the money we could clean up our nation’s debt, but I digress.

Issue at hand is that he did not follow the Truth in CallerID Act. Basiscally, the number shown on the caller ID was not a valid number. BOOM – you have a violation and now multiply that by potentially $90million. Not good.

Following these many rules from federal to state is possible. You may say to yourself you would never deliver that many calls, so no need to worry. That would be detrimentally wrong. If you are delivering calls via an autodialer, you must follow the rules. Here’s where I can help! Contact me to find out how I can help your company navigate these treacherous waters.

Lesson to be learned here, folks. Please pay attention.

Laws in play:

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

S. 30 — 111th Congress: Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009

 

I am doing this for many reasons, some of which I don’t fully understand. That there is an inner urge is undeniable.” – Ranulph Fiennes, English Explorer

Standing at the foothill of the Sea to Summit trail in Squamish, B.C. with newly purchased hiking pack strapped on, stocked with water, snacks, phone, ID (to identify me, should that be needed) I think to myself – “Can I really do this? What does this journey ask of me physically? How long will this take? How will I climb without any climbing experience? What dangers lie ahead that I should consider before taking this step? How will I deal with a bear? Do I have the right shoes? What the heck am I doing and why I am doing this alone?”. Deep breath, clear my head and I take my first step into the unknown for the next 7.5km 918m elevation gain up the mountain .

picAs Ranulph Fiennes so poignantly put it, I could not deny this inner urge that brought me to this point. We all have this inner urge to seize the unknown journey in our life. Whether it’s launching the company you’ve always dreamed of, starting a new sport you have spectated for years, pursuing that person who tugs at your heart, starting the family you’ve always talked about, filling out the college application you’ve put off for 20 years, or whatever it is that has consumed your idle thoughts. Why haven’t you started this journey? Why are you stilling dreaming about it? I know why….You are still asking yourself “HOW”.

To understand the paralyzing affect this question has on your life, let’s see how Merriam-Webster defines journey and adventure. They are not one in the same. We are all on a journey, but not all having an adventure.

Journey (verb): an act of traveling from one place to another

Adventure (verb): engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory

Did you see that? Do you see how drastically different an adventure is from a journey? I’ll paint a picture just to make sure it is clear.

  1. Working for a company in your career field is a journey, but pursuing the many thoughts and ideas others mock but you know will make a difference in the industry you serve is the adventure.
  2. Going to college is a journey, but pursuing that degree you feel inadequate to even apply but deep down it calls you is the adventure.
  3. Following your team in your favorite sport is a journey, deciding to get into the action and be a part of it (at any age) is the adventure.
  4. Marrying the easy safe catch is a journey, fighting for the beauty who seems out of your reach is the adventure.

When I read the definition of adventure, I couldn’t help but think who in their right mind would sign up for an adventure?!? It would appear that if an adventure doesn’t end the way we hoped, it could be devastating. We may fail and hence be seen as a failure. Therefore, to avoid the risk we don’t take the risk.

If we don’t take the adventurous route in life, what journey are we taking? Again to Merriam-Webster, I look up the antonyms of adventure and was not surprised to find these words: safety, surety, inaction, avoidance, assurance, passiveness and there it was “plan”. The plan is the how!

pic2At some point and perhaps multiple points in our life we stand at the foothill of our adventure. It almost seems as though adventure comes to us. When you stand at this foothill, what question do you ask yourself – How or Why? When I was at the foothill of the trail, if I had locked in on knowing how to take this journey I would have never climbed the mountain. Answering my why, I concluded: “I want to know what I’m capable of doing. I want to know how strong I am. I want to know how I handle challenges I’ve never faced. I want to know if I really can risk it all for the journey less traveled.” And oh boy did the adventure begin!!!!

A word of caution about taking an adventure. You will fail. You will get lost. You will get hurt. You will fall down. You will get tired. You will want to give up. You will discover who you really are. You will never regret it. You will come out on the other end wiser, stronger and ready for a bigger adventure. A journey without adventure, will never teach you these things.

I believe there is a higher power who places this desire for adventure in our hearts. For me, he is God and his son is Jesus. He is known to call us to adventure, to place these desires in our hearts, to bring the adventure to us, and to give us the strength to finish. I’ve learned He also handles the how which is the hardest part of life for us to define. Hence the reason you aren’t going anywhere.

My current adventure in life is launching a company. I may only know the steps of today and plan for tomorrow, but I am so very certain of my why. The adventurous life is one worth living. Look deep within and high above to reconcile that inner desire. Who is calling you and why?

After finishing this hike, I had the undeniable urge to come back next year and hike to Lake Garibaldi which is twice the distance and more treacherous. I would have never considered this bigger adventure, had I not taken the first.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” Exodus 24:12

Now go and be adventurous exploring your why.

 

Who’s calling now? That number doesn’t ring a bell. Hold the phone. You could be a potential victim of the growing “one-ring” cell phone scam. If you receive a call from these area codes, do not call back! 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876

Hello! For some of you, I may be saying hello again. My name is Rebekah Johnson. I have served the utility, financial, commercial and healthcare industries for the last 10 years. Through my time with West Corporation, I had the pleasure of helping many clients address their regulatory risks. Every single day, multiple times a day, I am talking all things TCPA, TSR, DNC, security, privacy and whatever else is trending. If you don’t know these terms, then my site will be a great use for helping you sleep at night.

During my time on the FCC’s Robocall Strike Force I was able to be the voice of the enterprise while serving on the Empowering Consumer Choice Working Group. Sadly, this task did not include a cape. Wonder Woman doesn’t need a cape, so I guess I’m ok with this budget cutback.

Gloria-Mac is my launch into the world of consulting, but I plan to do so much more than that! Under this endeavor I will continue my work in the enterprise sectors by bringing awareness to the activities resulting from the Robocall Strike Force Plan. As a consumer, I want the ability to control who calls me and when. As an advocate for the enterprise, I want to protect their ability to continue delivering legal calls to the consumers, members or patients.

So, WELCOME, to my blog! I will post videos putting complicated compliance into actionable processes for your business, my review on articles related to subject matters I cover (I’ll have to limit those soapbox rants), and updates on what is happening in the industries serving communications that you may want to know about. You can expect candor, wit and a whole lot of guidance. Do not expect a cardboard cutout consultant. If so, I can recommend some sites for you. 🙂

I look forward to being your voice of the enterprise and welcome any and all feedback.

Cheers,

Rebekah Johnson
President, Gloria-Mac