Lead generation giant Fluent is under the spotlight, after the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed suit against them. The lawsuit, which can be read here in full, alleges that Fluent and its subsidiaries are responsible for enabling hundreds of thousands of unwanted robocalls to residents of Pennsylvania.
In a statement, the Pennsylvania AG’s suit alleges that the Fluent group of companies assisted and facilitated potentially millions of violations of federal and state telemarketing laws by:
- Trafficking telemarketing calls to consumers who are on the Federal Do Not Call Registry
- Delivering telemarketing calls to consumers on the Federal Do Not Call Registry, where the consumers did not give their valid consent to be contacted
- Delivering telemarketing calls to consumers with prerecorded messages without proper consumer consent
- Engaging in deceptive and misleading business practices, in connection with their lead-generating practices
This last allegation is sure to be a focus of any subsequent proceedings. According to the lawsuit, telemarketing organizations obtained consumers’ personal information after they registered, via Fluent, to receive promo offers like Amazon and Walmart gift cards.
While this may be a relatively common practice in generating low-intent, incentivized leads, the lawsuit alleges that the promotional opportunities “consistently failed to include clear and obvious disclosures that warn consumers that if they provide their contact information, they are consenting to receive telemarketing calls from hundreds of potential sellers.”
This lawsuit constitutes a significant action that may ultimately have an impact on the way lead providers generate leads in the future, though the outcome and any consequences of the case remain to be seen.
Proactive Approach to Compliance
In the meantime, this news offers an important reminder to outbound sales and lead generation teams everywhere. Teams should double down on a proactive approach to TCPA compliance—and stay on top of regulatory changes at the state level.
As experts discussed during a recent webinar, any compliance strategy should include regular auditing and consistent management of vendors and partners. Businesses should:
- Evaluate contract terms to both ensure that the same compliance standards are in place and that liability obligations are understood.
- Maintain and manage an internal Do Not Call list. This list should be supported by written policy and procedure, a record of training, integrated across systems, and shared with all partners.
- Implement policies, procedures, and training around Do Not Call rules and consumer consent. This includes ensuring that not only your agents but your partners are up to speed and understand your own DNC system.
- Utilize outbound call compliance tools, including automated list management, list scrubbing, and more.
In addition, lead generators and buyers should work with counsel to evaluate disclosures and ensure that consent to call is obtained in compliance with TCPA and TSR requirements.
Sales and lead gen teams can’t afford to cut corners on compliance. Explore more TCPA compliance best practices, and stay tuned to Convoso for more need-to-know news and updates.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page and related links is provided for general education purposes only and is not legal advice. Convoso does not guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of this information to your situation. You are solely responsible for using Convoso’s services in a legally compliant way and should consult your legal counsel for compliance advice. Any quotes are solely the views of the quoted person and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Convoso.
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