Voice broadcasting company TCN Inc. announced the release of its new Local Caller ID feature, which allows clients to call their customers while displaying a caller ID number that is local to the customer’s calling area.

This new release brings attention to what has and continues to be a hot topic in the collection space: to change the area code on the caller ID or not. CT.net took a look at the issue here.

Here is what some members had to say:

“Spoofing caller ID probably does produce lift in contacts at what might be great risk,” wrote John McNamara, chief marketing officer at LiveVox. “I would add that if a consumer needs to be spoofed to talk with you, it’s probably a low quality contact and yields less dollars collected. Since all RPC’s are not equal in value to us debt collectors, agencies that spoof may be risking class action lawsuits for no or little real gain in collections.”

Others see changing the caller ID area code as a sound practice.

“As long as the debtor can return a call to the number displayed, I don’t see this as deceptive,” Timothy Prunyi, technology sales at Millennium Teleservices, wrote.

Views: 60

Tags: caller, id

Comment by Nate on April 14, 2009 at 12:14pm
Today a collection agency has many tools at their disposal, TCN allows for the effectiveness of Local ID without sacrificing ethics.

TCN Local ID allows a company to either procure their own numbers to use or TCN can obtain numbers on behalf of the agency. In both cases it is highly encouraged for the agency to list/register their own phone number and the name of the company that will show up on the caller ID.

The major lift that an agency will experience will be most likely attributed to having the number be a local number rather than an 800 number that is typically thought of a telemarketing call. Which would you rather answer at home? An 800 number or a Local number?

Nate
Comment by Charles Piercey on April 14, 2009 at 1:14pm
I can't imagine what anyone thinks is gained by that. Speaking to a debtor who is already ignoring your calls serves only those who wish a confrontation. It does not aid in collecting the debt. If you are going to do this, why not just call a neighbor and ask them to take a note over to have the client call you? What's the difference! That aside, the folks who have land line phones are becoming fewer and fewer with each passing day, so this becomes a pretty useless technology.
Comment by Kenny on April 14, 2009 at 1:28pm
Always remember the differences between those who have and those who do not. Those who have will be easier to make contact with than those who do not. Those who have are concerned with credit score while those who do not are lucky to even have one. Those who have are with house and car and those who do not foreclosure and repossession. Those who have are front end and those who do not are back end. Those who have aren't afraid to speak with the collector and those who do not are wondering why that collector is still trying to collect. What would possibly be the reason a collector would hide their identity? My thought simply is the collector is breaking a law, criminals hide don't you know.
Comment by scott edwards on April 14, 2009 at 1:29pm
With all due respect to those who are deffending the practice of "spoofing" consumers, you are missing the big picture. Defining what is "ethical" is like defining what is "harrasment". Each of us measures these things with an emotional yardstick and puts the boundry at a different distance. What really matters in this type of an issue is what is the perception of this practice. With the current backdrop which we operate in being what it is, this type of practice can only hurt the image of our industry and bring more scrutiny from our Legislators and Attorney Generals.
Comment by Mckay on April 14, 2009 at 1:41pm
Interesting. . .although I don't believe that it is truly "spoofing" unless mapping a toll free number to your agency is "spoofing". It is the exact same concept of mapping a toll free number to your agency, only in this case using a local number that you own.
Comment by scott edwards on April 14, 2009 at 4:02pm
Matt- I agree that law is intended to be black and white, and while at this time the law allows this practice, the perception that this practice conveys to the unsophisticated consumer is one of deception. If the consumer (voter) perceives this practice as deceptive, then the politicians will take notice. I do business in a state where the Attorney General has her sight set on the the Govener's Mansion and is trying to gain favor and recognition by introducing legislation to end the type of practice described here. Being "right" doesn't help our industry battle the onslaught of proconsumer legislation we are facing right now. Look beyond your own personal collection goals for a second.
Comment by Mark Gibson on April 14, 2009 at 9:30pm
Spoofing the ANI is not new. It's been going on behind closed doors, looks like TCN is legitimizing it and getting clients to pay for it - which is capitalism. The logical next step is for wireless/landline phone companies to offer caller ID blocking services so that any number that is not on predefined list or is on an "excluded" list will be either automatically routed to voicemail or dropped. And the phone companies could easily get $10/month for that service. This is definitely coming and could make customer contact an even greater challenge.
Comment by Mark Gibson on April 16, 2009 at 8:31am
Thanks Matt - i think i may have used the wrong term above. What i meant to say was call filtering (not caller ID block). Im my area (Philly), both Verizon and Vonage do not offer this service. Is this service widely available to the rest of the country?

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