- Eighty-four percent of people said they've received a computer-generated call — robocall — on their mobile phone that was unwanted advertising or scam-related, according to a First Orion survey made available to Mobile Marketer. More than 2.6 billion robocalls were made in May, and they were the No. 1 source of consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, the survey found.
- While nine out of 10 people associate robocalls with the term "annoying," they're more open to receiving automated calls related to doctor or other appointments, weather warnings and product recall alerts. About 85% of respondents don't consider an automated call from a service provider like a pharmacy or doctor's office as annoying or intrusive, according to the survey by First Orion, a company that helps mobile carriers protect subscribers from unwanted calls.
- Mobile users like transparency from caller ID, with 92% of respondents saying it's important to know who's on the other end before answering, while 86% of those surveyed said it's important to know why a number is calling with additional information. More than 26% said they would change from their current carrier if it meant telemarketers and scammers could be blocked entirely or identified before answering a call.
Telemarketers have been invading the privacy of households for decades, so it's no surprise they're pushing into mobile phones as many consumers cut the cord on landlines. While the industry has some self-regulation in place like "do not call" lists and other bylaws, that doesn't stop all robocalls. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission last week proposed a $120 million fine — its largest ever — on a Florida-based robocall network that was allegedly responsible for nearly 100 million calls in the last three months of 2016. Of those calls, 90% were made to wireless phones, according to the agency.
Marketing Strategy Leaders, based in Miami, was accused of using "neighborhood spoofing" technology to include local area codes and the first three numbers of the recipient’s own phone number to urge people to answer the calls, as consumers are generally more willing to answer a call from a familiar area. Recipients would hear a recorded message asking them to press 1 to hear about vacation deals from travel companies. TripAdvisor helped spur the investigation after customers called the travel company complaining about calls offering bogus deals. The accused robocaller has 30 days to respond to the FTC complaint.
First Orion's survey of 1,000 mobile phone users clearly indicates that most consumers consider robocalls a nuisance, but they're open to receiving them from legitimate businesses relevant to them. Spoofers give the telemarketing industry an even worse reputation, which may result in stricter rules on the activity. For businesses that rely on robocalling as part of their customer relationship management, transparency about their identity is a key part of building better trust with consumers.