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04.13.15 by Andrew Shafer

Call Recording

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Collection agencies commonly employ call recording devices to monitor their employees’ telephone conduct and to gather evidence to refute consumer accusations that a collector engaged in conduct that violates federal or state law.   Some states require disclosure that the call is being recorded or monitored.  Other states do not.  The following states all require disclosure to both parties. 

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington

Failure to disclose that a call is being recorded has consequences.  In some states, such as Washington, failure to disclose is a gross misdemeanor.  RCW 9.73.080.    The law also creates a private remedy of $100 per day per violation, not to exceed $1000, plus actual damages, including emotional distress, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.  RCW 9.73.060.   Most commonly, callers provide an introductory statement such as “This call may be recorded or monitored for training and for quality assurance.”  Alternatively, callers can simply integrate their notice in their introduction, “This is Amy calling on a recorded line.”

For businesses that operate call centers the safest path is to require notice of recording on all calls, both inbound and outbound.  While the disclosure does no harm when calling states that do not require it, failing to disclose when dealing with the above 11 states creates an absolutely avoidable risk.