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Call Recording: Legal? Illegal? Just Plain Creepy In a 1984ish Kind of Way?

March 25, 2011

By David Sims, Call Recording World Contributing Editor

The headline says it all: “Confused about the legality behind call recording?” If you’re the least bit confused you should probably read on.

A recent post on the United Kingdom’s Elitetlele.com blog with just that headline is a good primer on the subject from a British perspective.

According to the industry pros at Elitetele.com, you aren’t playing Orwell’s Big Brother by recording calls, so set your mind at ease about that.

Still, as the blog post says, “many ask whether the customer’s consent is needed to record phone calls, but the truth of the matter is – call logging is a wonderful tool that truly allows you to not only offers subsequent legal immunity, but also helps deliver top-rate customer service.”

So there’s your twofer -- you get some legal backup, and the customer gets better service. What’s not to like? Remember, you’re not Big Brother, we’ve already dealt with that one. “Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes” and all that.

Ofcom, is an independent telco regulator, and the Elitetel.com blog cites where they stated themselves in agreement that a call recording product can “help in training and supervising call center staff, achieve quality targets and have a record of what was said in the event of a subsequent dispute.” And yes, well, as one would expect, a plethora of call recording products has led to “widespread monitoring and recording of calls.” Imagine that.

Elitetel.com contends that the “boom” in call recording is due as much to the rise in customer call centers as anything else, as well as the “increase in business done and dealt with over a telephone line.”

And as far as the legality goes, if you “take every reasonable effort to inform all parties that it may or will be recorded, silently monitored or intruded into,” then you’re on the right track. Obviously you should check with a legal professional in your particular area, for goodness sakes don’t just take our word for it, we’re not lawyers although we play one on TV, and who knows what other little laws are tucked in here or there?


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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