VIDEO: Legal Robocalls You Don’t Want to Block, with Rebekah Johnson

christian montes

Host
Christian Montes
Executive Director of Sales at NobelBIz

Essential calls are often technically robocalls. So how do we avoid blocking legal robocalls while stopping the flood of scam and fraud calls? Rebekah Johnson of Numeracle talks with Christian about the specific legal robocalls that often get blocked.

christian montes

Guest
Rebekah Johnson
Founder & CEO of Numeracle

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Christian Montes:

Let’s say we remove the word illegal from robocalls and just say the shorthand when people say robocalls equal bad.

So if tomorrow all robocalls stopped – what kind of calls that people actually want or need will go away and they don’t realize those are actually deemed robocalls? You got any examples?

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Appointment Reminders and COVID Tracking Calls

Rebekah Johnson

First off of the top of my mind are the appointment reminders. In fact, even during this time with COVID communications there are COVID tracking calls that are important to find out who’s had testing, how do we get you the results of your testing – those are important calls that could absolutely be blocked.

And then now we have a situation where blocking those types of calls causes harm. Far greater harm than an unwanted call to consumers. That’s always my fear.

It’s that unfortunately consumers are not aware there are certain calls that are important to their life and safety, but because they thought “well I just don’t want to receive robocalls,” they end up blocking a lot of those calls.

Emergency Calls from Strangers

Another important call might be the call that you get from some stranger who happens to come across a car accident that your child was in and they’re gonna call you. If you are using the Apple feature to just shut off anybody who’s not in your contacts, you will not get that phone call.

That’s not a risk I think consumers should take. And they should be able to demand something a little bit better than that.

School Reminders, Utilities, Outage Notifications, Prescription Reminders

Christian:

I think some common ones to add to that are:

  • for my daughter especially when she’s at school – the school reminders that come out
  • meta notifications that come from the schools
  • your utilities
  • whenever there’s gonna be a planned outage or something like that you have voice as the channel
  • your reminders maybe for your prescriptions
  • appointment reminders

There’s a lot of informational messages that get sent out to people. And mass amounts to be able to notify them of something or to notify them something will happen.

We might just not be bucketing those – “oh no, no, of course, I want those,” but those are the ones where it’s not easy, like you said, to differentiate the bad actors from the good actors because they don’t know who’s actually making those calls and they can’t trust who is the entity that actually is making calls with those numbers.

What Does STIR/SHAKEN Bring?

So hopefully with the work you’re doing and in conjunction with the frameworks with STIR/SHAKEN – the idea here is to allow call originators to have more trust associated to their calls, right?

When we look at that I know there are some specific things that happen in this space when we talk about legal versus illegal robocalls. And I think that’s the challenge, right?

It’s very difficult to define what’s legal and what’s not legal through these in particular frameworks and I think you stated that well.

Summing Up

What do you think of our discussion? We’d love to hear from you!

The call ecosystem is so full of bad actors that it gets confusing for all the parties involved: the consumers, the commissions that regulate the calls, and the companies making legitimate calls.

If you like what Rebekah says – check out the entire episode 6 of our podcast where she goes into much more detail about STIR/SHAKEN.

And if you like what Numeracle’s doing – don’t forget they’re our partners on the carrier side – so if you need a partner you can trust for your contact center, check out our World Class Voice network.

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