We sure get a lot of questions here!(On The Line) (Interview)

Author:Searcy, Tim

One of the truly enjoyable things about working at the American Teleservices Association is the opportunity to answer our members' questions. We field about 700 or more questions per month on a wide array of topics. As you can imagine, members ask us about everything from the size and future of the industry to where to go to find certain services or providers, and of course we are consistently addressing federal and state regulatory compliance questions. Because we receive the same questions repeatedly, it is apparent these questions must be on many individuals' minds. For that reason, I decided to highlight our most frequently asked questions from our members, and the answers we give them.

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About the Industry

Q: What impact did the Do-Not-Call Registry have on the industry?

A: A lot! Five years ago we had about 6.5 million people employed in the teleservices industry, today, there are about 5.3 million people employed as teleservices professionals. The outsourcing part of the industry has grown tremendously as in-house operations have decided the cost of compliance and the uncertainty of regulation made it a better decision to focus on their core business.

Q: What are the hot spots overseas for putting up new call centers?

A: It depends. It depends on a variety of factors including application, audience, product, service, and previous experience. However, the industry is full of consultants and practitioners that can be of assistance. Without a doubt, the Philippines and the Central America and Latin America (CALA) areas are very popular because of abundant inexpensive labor and language skills. To learn more, simply go to the ATA website at www.ataconnect.org or www.tmcnet.com

About Compliance Issues

Q: Am I really subject to this regulation, law, or legal interpretation about my business?

A: We receive this question all the time. Some ask about specific regulations, and some are just curious about jurisdiction over their industry in general. About 99% of the time, the answer is an unequivocal yes. It continues to surprise us that many companies still don't believe that the Telemarketing Sales Rule or Telephone Consumer Protection Act and subsequent rules and amendments apply to them. In reality there are very few exemptions, and those exemptions can be handled on a case by case basis on our Web site or with a simple phone call.

Q: What is on the horizon for regulations and legislation?

A: It's hard to tell, but the...

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