VIDEO: What Are Legal Robocalls?

The Robocalls Paradox: Legal vs Illegal, with Rebekah Johnson

christian montes

Christian Montes
Executive Director of Sales at NobelBIz

We hear it all the time: robocalls bad. Well, what if we told you not all of them are bad and in fact, some of them are actually essential! Here’s Rebekah Johnson, CEO of Numeracle with the truth bomb you don’t want – but definitely need!


christian montes

Rebekah Johnson
Founder & CEO of Numeracle

Let’s chat about how YOUR contact center can be successful!

Christian Montes:

Let’s talk about the legalities of illegal calls versus legal calls when we talk about the world robocalls. Obviously, everyone says robocall is a bad word. You just hear it – it’s like “oh no, no, I don’t do robocalls.”

But when you go back to it and you look at robocalls, there’s a lot of calls that fall into the bucket of robocalls – a lot that we actually rely on.

So, can you give us some insight into your understanding of what are these legal robocalls that somehow everyone thinks don’t exist, that you know are very important?

This article is part of our podcast series. Listen to it here:

Check out more bits from this episode here.

See more episodes on our podcast page.

Legal Calls = Consent to Deliver the Call

Rebekah Johnson:

Here’s what’s interesting – we try to use technology such as STIR/SHAKEN.

And you’ll hear statements that – “oh this will eliminate illegal robocalls.”

I’m sorry!? That is so far from the truth.

The Legality of the Call Is Determined Outside the Framework

The reality is that the legality of the call is determined outside of the framework. You have to look at the FCC’s TCPA, the FTC’s TSR, and then let’s throw in some rules from the CFPB, let’s throw in some State rules on top of that.

And legal calls are all about the consent. There are some other legal elements that are associated with it but mostly it comes down to consent to deliver the call.

That is something that carriers don’t have visibility into. That is something that STIR/SHAKEN solution providers don’t have visibility into. So, that’s really what determines that a call is legal or illegal. It’s about that consent.

STIR/SHAKEN Is Not the Final Solution to Robocalls

So I still think that we’re falling short with STIR/SHAKEN on the ability to distinguish between what’s legal and what’s illegal. I can be a legal entity and I can have a set of numbers to call and I could blast everybody and I could look like I’m legit but if I don’t have consent – that’s an illegal call.

People Don’t Remember Giving Consent

And that’s still a challenge to get that type of information into this framework. And to your point – on some of these calls I think consumers when I look at the messages or the complaints that are delivered, they’re not aware that maybe they signed up for or provided consent.

So, this entity that’s delivering the call could very well believe – “well we have consent, this is legal” – but the consumer doesn’t feel like it was a legal call because they don’t recall providing that consent. So, a lot of things get caught up in that space.

Fraud Needs to Disappear

It’s more difficult to determine those. But what we can all agree upon are the IRS scams, the social security number calls. There are some that are just pure fraud all day long. And those need to be stopped.

So how do we distinguish between the two?

One of the key elements is – you know those fraudsters on the social security number scams? They’re not gonna reveal themselves, they’re not gonna go through a vetting. They’re gonna hide, hide, hide.

That’s our only potential – to maybe truly eliminate the fraud fraud.

But then we’re going to enter this new space of legal entities communicating with consumers that just don’t want to be communicated with. I don’t know what the world looks like once we get to that point, we’ll just have to be aware of hearing the consumer’s voice at that point.

Summing Up

Do you agree with what Rebekah said? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments.

The call ecosystem is difficult to navigate for both consumers and the companies making the calls. Fraudsters make it more difficult for both and especially for legal calls that fit the definition of a robocall.

Our discussion with Rebekah went a lot deeper than what we talked about here. Click play on the episode above to hear everything about the STIR/SHAKEN framework and Rebekah’s important work on that side.

We’re also partners with Numeracle on our carrier side of things. If you want a reliable friend and carrier specifically designed for contact centers, check out our World Class Voice network.

Work Remotely with our True Omnichannel Solution:

NobelBiz OMNI+ Brings Your Contact Center into the Present

You need a solution that lets you do everything remotely, from a single platform with as little effort as possible. That’s where NobelBiz OMNI+ comes in!

Thank you! We'll be in touch soon!
Please don"t forget to fill the captcha before submitting the form.