May 22, 2024

Benefits of Using the RND for Contact Centers and Enterprises

Benefits of Using the RND for Contact Centers and Enterprises

As robocalls and other unwanted communications continue to annoy consumers and threaten business reputations, more regulatory bodies are adding the reassigned numbers database (RND) to their rules. For example, Maine recently clarified its laws to require comparing contact lists with numbers on the RND.

Since the Reassigned Numbers Database is becoming increasingly standard for regulatory bodies, contact centers should ensure they know about the database, how it works, and how they can benefit from it.

Importance of the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND)

The Reassigned Numbers Database provides data that helps contact centers know whether someone has received a new number. By scrubbing contact lists against the RND, companies can verify prior consent to stop robocalls and other unwanted calls. The RND helps protect consumers against unwanted calls when receiving new a new phone number from carriers.

As the FCC and other regulators refine the definitions of automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) and “robocalls,” businesses that place outbound calls and texts must find ways to comply with the latest standards. The RND stands out as one of the most reliable ways to reach that goal.

Benefits of Utilizing the RND

In addition to complying with emerging regulations, scrubbing contact lists against the RND can:

  • Provide safe harbor from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Protect your brand’s reputation

Consumers distrust incoming phone calls more than ever. Considering that scammers can now combine generative AI with autodialers, it makes sense for them to use caution when answering calls from unknown sources. Number spoofing adds to the concern. Today, consumers don’t know whether they can even trust numbers from people and companies they know.

Given these concerns, imagine how you might respond to an unwanted call after receiving a new phone number. Many people will flag the number as spam even if their caller ID screens say a legitimate business initiated the call. If enough people report the number, carriers and third-party apps will add a warning to the number. Eventually, the phone numbers of legitimate businesses can get blocked.

The RND helps improve relationships between consumers and organizations with outbound contact centers. By scrubbing your lists, you help ensure compliance, boost your brand’s reputation, and improve employee productivity.

How RND Queries Work

Your organization must register with the RND before you can submit queries. Subscription prices vary by the number of queries and the length of your contract.

Once you register, you have four ways to submit RND queries. You can:

  • Use the RND site to submit up to 50 phone numbers.
  • Submit up to 1,000 numbers through the RND site’s file upload function.
  • Use an API to upload up to 1,000 numbers.
  • Use an API upload to submit up to 1 million numbers per file.

All options require your caller agent to provide a phone number, last known contact data, and your registered company ID.

You can learn more about registering your company and querying data at the RND website.

Regulatory Bodies Adopt Use of the RND

Government and industry regulators know the importance of improving relationships between companies and consumers. The following groups have issued guidelines, rules, or laws that encourage using the RND.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

In November 2021, the CFPB amended the Fair Debt Collection Privacy Act (FDCPA). The change instructs debt collectors to use the RND before texting contacts to ensure numbers haven’t been reassigned.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

In January 2023, HHS started encouraging government agencies and their contractual partners to use the RND and take advantage of its safe harbor to comply with TCPA rules regarding robocallers and robotexters.

Responsible Enterprises Against Consumer Harassment (REACH)

Standards released by REACH in 2023 encouraged companies to use the RND. REACH has a mission to stop unwanted calls, improve perception of the industry, and publicly disclose bad actors. In other words, REACH could release the names of companies it believes violate guidelines and tarnish the industry’s reputation.

Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC)

In a November 2023 alert, OCC advised the CEOs of national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies to examine TCPA rules and take advantage of the RND and its safe harbors.

The State of Maine

As noted above, Maine recently clarified a state-specific TCPA law to require using RND. Other states are following Maine’s lead, so expect more state-level laws to change in the near future.

Mobile Carriers

Per the FCC’s Robotext Order, beginning July 24, 2024, wireless mobile carriers can subscribe to the RND to determine whether blocks requested by the Enforcement Bureau have been permanently disconnected. If so, they can stop blocking the number.

How This Affects Businesses

Regulations that require or encourage using the RND could help businesses significantly by improving consumer confidence and boosting brand reputations.

The RND is especially useful since the FCC recently closed the “Lead Generation Loophole.” Before closing the loophole, a lead-generation business could sell its lead lists to multiple clients. Those clients could then use consent granted to the lead-generation business to justify calling or texting contacts.

With that loophole addressed, companies now need a way to ensure they only dial consenting leads. The RND reaches that goal by helping companies compare their lists with reassigned numbers.

Do you know how your outbound numbers appear on caller ID screens? Contact Caller ID Reputation to learn more about how you can take control of your numbers’ reputations and increase answer rates.