Work Email Addresses and Mobile Numbers: Are They Safe to Use?
- Always ask consumers for personal contact information. Your best bet, legally speaking, is to minimize the number of work accounts your organization uses for collection-related communications.
- Get consumers to agree to notify you if their employment status changes. If your terms and conditions are detailed enough, and the consumer assumes responsibility for keeping you informed, you’ll have done your part to ensure the integrity of the collections process. This will afford a good measure of protection in the event of a legal claim.
“So if that consumer had given you consent . . . but now you’ve added in the additional wrinkle of the fact that the person has left the office. She’s no longer there, but they’re monitoring her email. They open the email, and therefore the company gets the . . . analytic results saying, ‘I sent my 1692g notice.’ [ . . . ] Did she receive the notice, or did she not?” – David Kaminski
Text Messages: Navigating Carrier Demands, Consumer Expectations, and the Law
- Use simple, straightforward language. Consumers must fully understand anything they’re signing up to receive. Opt-in mechanisms must be clear, and when consumers unsubscribe, they must receive an acknowledgement of the action.
- Be careful with abbreviations. Acronyms can’t spell out inflammatory words (I’d call this one a no-brainer).
- Terms and conditions are essential. By getting a consumer to agree to terms and conditions upfront, you can effectively nullify gaps and inconsistencies between CTIA and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requirements.
E-Sign: How It Applies, and How to Comply
FACT: Obtaining E-Sign consent is a two-step process.
- During a recorded conversation with the consumer;
- In an email;
- In a text message;
- In a writing;
- On a website.
FACT: An initial communication that includes the 1692g validation notice DOES NOT trigger the E-Sign requirement.
FACT: A communication subsequent to the initial communication with the consumer DOES trigger the E-Sign requirement.
TIP: To obtain proper E-Sign consent, provide detailed information and terms and ask for a response.
TIP: Always confirm receipt of legally required documents.
“Revocation is that word that I think is so important in this whole context . . . . Anytime someone withdraws consent, whether you believe they did that in the proper manner . . . once that’s communicated, the best and safest course to minimize your risk is to honor that and comply with it.” – David Kaminski
Recommended Reading From Our Resource Library
Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.
© 2019 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.
Info and Insights You Won't Want to Miss
Here on the OS Blog, we aim to give you just the right mix of high-level views, tactics, and tools you can use to optimize your collection operations and results. Subscribe today for a steady stream of practical, empowering content delivered to your inbox weekly.
Last week, I wrote about email and text guidelines the American Medical Association (AMA) set forth to help healthcare providers ensure their electronic communications comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Thanks to this...
Healthcare providers remain skittish when it comes to email or text communications, and their reluctance is understandable. Historically, both email and text messages were considered inherently unsecure modes of communication. In addition, many healthcare providers...
Is communicating via email and text still a pipe dream for your collection operations? If so, you might want to settle in and keep reading. It really isn’t as scary as you might expect. Despite the high costs and marginal returns of relying on phone calls and...
Data privacy and data security are two very hot topics in the ARM industry today. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is set to take effect in January 2020, with additional privacy bills now pending in at least 25 states. Meanwhile, cyber crimes involving...
The ARM industry and consumers see the CFPB’s proposed rules through very different lenses. Collection agencies are trying to get ahead of what may be the final rules so they’re ready to comply, while consumers are demanding clear, unequivocal protection from...
This is the final post in our OS blog 2.0 series highlighting the “ARM ecosystem”—what it is, how it works, and how ARM businesses can benefit by adopting this approach. With its dense maze of business, legal, and market challenges, the ARM industry is a tough one to...
In the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry, policies and procedures aren’t just helpful to have. They’re critical protection for collection agencies, whose compliance risks are myriad and ever changing. Policies and procedures are of little use, however, if...
This article concludes our “RCM Reality Check” series highlighting costly RCM issues and what providers need to address them. Throughout this series, we’ve explained the importance of closing the EHR platform gap. This simple step could help streamline...