Consumers love call blocking apps because they prevent robocalls and other illicit telemarketing calls from wasting their time. And, due to recent regulations, phone carriers must protect their consumers by blocking spam calls before the public receives them. So far, these measures sound great for everyone. The public gets a break and legitimate call centers benefit from the fall of bad telemarketing actors. However, mislabeled calls can impact your business.
Sadly, the industry does not always get it right. Phone carriers may place the wrong call labels on some businesses. Additionally, phone carriers may be wrongly labeling your legitimate efforts as spam, fraud, or telemarketer. They can crush your efforts by labeling your company calls “Fraud” when they most definitely are not.
When your business depends on outgoing calls, these mistakes have a devastating effect on your company’s reputation and profits. Even a short-term mistake can make recovery hard. Fortunately, you have options in this situation. You can fight this mislabeling by proper monitoring and reporting of mistakes.
How Carriers Label Calls
Phone carriers now have power over your success due to call labeling. They will sometimes flag calls based on call frequency, volume, and other factors. Their use of consumer reports can also flag your calls as spam or worse. When carriers do their labeling, they use broad categories focused on revealing fraud intent. Different carriers use different labels, but they are all similar:
- Scam Likely – T-Mobile & Metro PCS
- Spam Risk / Fraud Risk – AT&T
- Potential Spam – Verizon & Frontier
- Potential Fraud – Sprint
These labels all indicate that the call’s possible intent is to defraud a consumer. However, the individual consumer is still free to answer if they wish. The power remains with them.
Third-Party Apps Allow Consumer Preference
Call blocking apps have expanded upon call labels by allowing a wider array of call intent categories. But consumers should remember that many unwanted calls are not fraudulent but are simply annoying. So, not every unknown caller is attempting to defraud the public. Despite this, frustrated consumers can sometimes lead to mislabeled calls.
Additional intent labels by third party apps can include:
Consumers can block more calls by using one of many third-party apps available for purchase or free download. While this route has the advantage of blocking more calls, it also leads to more confusion. Different apps have different categories for call labeling. For example, one app may label your calls spam while another does not. In this way, it is often difficult to identify the source of your mislabeled calls.
Your company’s fate is tied to these commercial apps’ definitions, and some of them are more accurate than others. This issue is a problem for private companies as well as consumers who want valid information.
Aggregated Data Issues
These third-party differences also affect carrier labels. Many carriers aggregate data from several third-party apps, but some carriers work exclusively with certain apps only. This difference means your phone number can display a call label on one app but none or a different one on others. Furthermore, this lack of app consistency causes carriers to label your calls differently. Mislabeled calls generally occur on a particular network or app. This means that only some of your clients, leads or customers might experience this issue.
Your answer rates might fluctuate depending on which carrier your leads use. In a recent study, approximately 25% of businesses have their numbers labeled incorrectly. Inconsistent labeling by blocking apps often delivers a double whammy – they and the carriers that use their data can mislabel your company. This puts your business in a vulnerable position that is partly determined by luck.
How to Dispute Mislabeled Calls
You cannot afford to let mislabeling go unchallenged. In the future, you may be able to dispute a mislabeled call in a centralized way. At this time, you can only do so by contacting each phone carrier individually. Nevertheless, this process is a time-consuming but necessary one.
Experts recommend registering your outbound numbers with carriers so that they can verify your business and the number or numbers associated with it. Use the following contact information to register your numbers.
Carriers Registering Information
Contact AT&T to register or dispute numbers at:
T-Mobile Portal: https://callreporting.t-mobile.com/
First Orion Portal: https://calltransparency.com/
Contact CenturyLink for disputes at:
Contact Frontier for disputes at:
Third-Party Apps and Services
You can also dispute your call labels with third-party apps and services:
Register your numbers with First Orion at:
The above lists demonstrate just how much data fragmentation exists in call industry labeling. This fragmentation inevitably leads to confusion since each party uses its own parameters to establish these labels. As a result, some legitimate businesses suffer while some questionable enterprises slide by. You can hope the situation changes, but in the meantime, it’s crucial that you take action.
Proactively Monitor Your Reputation
The best way to protect your reputation is by being proactive. Just because you are a legitimate business and abide by ethical dialing practices doesn’t mean you are immune to call mislabeling. To protect your business, you must stay vigilant in this is ever-changing call labeling environment. Some effective steps you can take to improve your reputation are:
- Always abide by ethical dialing practices.
- Scan your numbers frequently for flags.
- Ask for consumer information. (If a customer or lead reports your call as mislabeled, ask them what network and/or call blocking apps they are using.)
- Reduce call volume by swapping out numbers throughout the day.
These are simple rules, but they do work when you apply them consistently. Failure to use them will lead to more unfair call mislabeling and greater harm to your business.
The call center industry is in a cycle of genuine change. Your outgoing calls are subject to more and more regulation and labeling by third parties. You probably find this reality frustrating and sometimes unfair, especially when you are following all the rules. While this situation may moderate in the future, you cannot wait to take action.
You must not be complacent when it comes to call mislabeling. When you see a problem, attack it assertively by taking the right reporting steps. Then make certain you are monitoring your numbers each day. Even a day or two of mislabeling issues can cost you dearly through a damaged reputation and lost customers. You are a legitimate company: Don’t let anyone forget it!