Attack of the Robocallers: How the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN Legislation Changes the Way Businesses Make Calls to Their Customers
Will STIR/SHAKEN affect your business? Read more about how the FCC’s new legislation impacts your communication with consumers.
Did you know that roughly 45% of phone calls made every day are robocalls? According to the FCC, in 2020, American consumers received nearly 4 billion robocalls per month. This has led to a steep decline in answered calls from unknown numbers, a growing conversation regarding transparency and privacy, and has left the overall population of American consumers frustrated.
Currently, robocalls remain the top consumer complaint at both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). With nearly 4.5 million complaints submitted to the FTC in 2017, the Commission has decided to implement legislation that cracks down on what is now being termed “The Age of Robocalls.”
You may or may not have heard of the term STIR/SHAKEN (sometimes reversed) come up during your business meetings. If you are unfamiliar with the term and its use, please allow us to explain. The FCC has introduced Caller ID/Authentication based on STIR/SHAKEN, a framework of interconnected standards, geared towards limiting the presence and capabilities of spam calls.
The acronym stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENS (SHAKEN). This ensures that calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. In other words, it would allow the phone carrier of a consumer to verify that the call is in fact from the ID assigned to the caller. Caller ID/Authentication makes it harder for fraudulent callers to mask their identity and illegally spoof caller ID. It also allows consumers to more readily identify the source of illegal robocalls and reduce their frequency and impact.
So, how does this new legislation affect the way your business operates? Well, if you rely on a contact center or use purchased phone numbers to contact clients, your business is about to get a lot harder.
Contact Centers: If you rely on a contact center that uses an internationally registered IP address, your calls will be flagged as potential spam. Additionally, STIR/SHAKEN is not international legislation, which means offshore contact centers do not have to adopt these policies, yet still run the risk of being flagged. Domestically, if calls are not properly assigned, they will potentially never even reach the intended audience and will also be flagged as spam.
Purchasing Phone Numbers: If you use a purchased phone number to contact your clients, you have likely already felt the effects of the new legislation. While it is both easy and cheap to purchase phone numbers, companies are blowing through thousands of numbers a day as they continuously get flagged as spam. This cheap solution has transformed into an expensive operation.
This new legislation can not be ignored. The FCC has vowed to take aggressive action, enforcing this new legislation against telemarketers for illegal caller ID spoofing, including “neighbor” spoofing which occurs when callers attempt to appear as local numbers. Companies have already been charged with fines ranging anywhere from $10-20 million for violating STIR/SHAKEN. The FCC has also gone as far as enlisting the help of industry groups to trace the traffic of robocalls back to the dialer.
Verse has already taken the steps to be compliant with the new FCC legislation in order to protect our customers’ brands and help them effectively and transparently reach prospective clients. To avoid calls being labeled as “spam likely” at the consumer handset level, Verse is implementing Branded Calls and Caller ID Authentication.
This will be implemented as a two-level service system where Service 1 ensures that calls are tagged as “verified caller” and Service 2 displays the company’s name, logo, and, eventually, reason for calling.
As of the beginning of July, Verse has implemented Service 1 and current customers can opt-in to this feature with no additional charge. Customers can expect the Branded Calls rollout in the near future.
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Increase call center answer rate by displaying business name, logo, and reason for calling
Increase trust and answer rates in your calls by displaying “Caller Verified”