20 February 2019

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Recording Business Phone Calls: How to Minimize Risk

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

"Call recording is illegal!"

Ever heard that before?

It's not true.

There are all kinds of benefits a company can gain by recording their phone calls. You can improve customer service, create comprehensive customer communications records in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, and protect yourself in the event of legal disputes.The drawbacks of business call recording, however, can include legal risks for failure to comply with state law, potential employee resistance to call monitoring, and additional costs for audio storage and access.

If your company decides to access the benefits, you'll need to mitigate the risks that call recording carries. By weighing the considerations, you can be confident that you'll get all of the benefits without the fear of angering customers or facing litigation.

How To Minimize Risk When Recording Business Phone Calls

Since the risks of recording business phone calls can come from all sides—employees, customers, legal, and financial—it's important to cover all of your bases before you start recording calls. The considerations aren't complex. We'll outline them below.

Understanding Knowledge and Consent

Though laws may vary, every state in the U.S. requires at least some consent by the parties represented on a business phone call that is being recorded.

While it is helpful to get an affirmative verbal consent at the beginning of a recorded call, some states recognize what is known as "implied consent." When a party is informed that the call is being recorded and they continue with the call, the consent is implied and the business recording the call is covered legally. Specific definitions for implied consent can vary between states, so if your company decides to rely on implied consent, you should check with legal counsel to make sure your state's guidelines are followed.

Knowledge and consent laws come in three varieties in the U.S.: single-party, all-parties, and mixed. Currently, there are 36 single-party states, 10 all-parties states and 4 mixed states. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, Attorneys at Law, produced a summary of each state law, which you can find here, but we recommend getting your own legal counsel in your state, just to be safe.

All-parties states require the consent of everyone on the recorded phone call, even during conference calls when several people are participating. Single-party states, however, require the consent of only one party on the recorded call. In these states, one party may record a conversation without the knowledge or consent of the other party if the other party is also in a one-party state.

Even if you know what your state law requires, however, regulations from the consenting party's state may apply. What if your business in Virginia, a one-party state, calls a client in Maryland where all-party consent is required? In this common situation, you are responsible for following the laws of both states, including obtaining all-party consent.

How Mobile Phones Affect Recording Laws

Some businesses make location assumptions based on area code, but this can be a risky strategy. Mobile phone owners often move to different states without changing their number, the number could be the VoIP number for a remote worker in a different state, or the individual may be out of state on a business or personal trip.

Backups and Encryption Considerations

One of the biggest factors which affect cost for business call recording is storage and security. While some organizations have opted for on-premises backup systems in the past, many companies are going with cloud-based storage options for both cost and usability reasons.

On-premises systems typically require a large up-front investment and maintaining servers, systems, and accessibility can be costly down the road. Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, don't deplete your bank account in the short-term, give you the advantage of flat, monthly expenses, and can ensure easy accessibility by everyone in your company, no matter where they are.

Make sure that all call recordings are encrypted to minimize information security risks. Recordings should be encrypted before being transferred to the cloud and should only be accessible with access keys.

Getting the Right Recording System

Another way to minimize risks is to select the right business call recording system. Here at Atlantech Online, we analyzed many possibilities and selected Call Cabinet and their Atmos Business Call Recording System to meet the needs of our customers for the following reasons:

  • Record 100% of calls or select the calls you record
  • Fully compliant with PCI, HIPAA, and other regulations
  • Strong data encryption at the source
  • Secure data backup with multiple servers and geographic locations
  • No hardware investment required
  • Affordable, pay-as-you-go pricing

Related Reading: What to Look for When Buying Business Call Recording Systems

Getting Professional Advice

By minimizing the drawbacks and risks associated with recording business phone calls, your company can unlock the powerful benefits that call recordings bring. To make sure that you understand all of the implications fully, we recommend a quick consultation with legal counsel to make sure you follow best practices which will protect your company from litigation and a conversation with a business phone service provider in your area to discuss the pricing and logistical considerations for implementation.

If your company is in the Washington, D.C. area, we would love to talk to you about the options for business phone call recording. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive team members have worked with many companies to take advantage of business call recording. Contact us or call us today at 301.589.3060.





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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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