FCC Proposed Rule Regarding Lead Generation

 At Energy BPO, we want to give you an update on the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposals that have been making the rounds through the energy space.

We know this can be quite confusing, so here is a quick rundown of how it might affect our lead management solutions in the future.

As you may be aware, the FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that — if enacted as currently proposed — would have a dramatic impact on the lead generation industry.

The FCC has been seeking comments whether to ban the practice of obtaining a single consumer consent as justification for calls and texts from multiple — sometimes hundreds — of sellers and potential fraudsters.

Closing the Lead Generator Loophole

The FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) proposes to ban the practice of obtaining a single consumer consent as grounds for delivering calls and text messages from multiple marketers on subjects beyond the scope of the original consent.

The FNPRM explains that lead generators and data brokers may use hyperlinked lists to harvest consumer telephone numbers and consent agreements on a website and pass that information to telemarketers and scam callers.

The Commission asks whether to amend its TCPA consent requirements to mandate that consent be considered granted only to callers “logically and topically” associated with the website that solicits consent and whose names are “clearly disclosed” on the same webpage.

To make this as understandable as possible, the FCC is trying to eliminate the hyperlink marketing partners, in essence doing away with co-registration. During their proposals they gave examples of sites with 8,000-plus partners that could be sent the data. This is obviously egregious, and we can promise you that none of the sites we currently work with have anywhere near that number.

If the hyperlink goes away, consolidation will happen. All of our current clients’ names are on these lists, and the solutions stem far and wide.

Our opinion at Energy BPO is that most clients will try to push for branded ads. Understanding that during consolidation of leads, the price of the lead will drive itself up tremendously.

Industries such as auto and solar, that have much higher CPA than deregulated energy, will be easily outbidding us in terms of what we could pay for these leads.

We believe that having multiple TCPA names across brands will no longer be an option.

We will have to consolidate across the energy sector as well, with one main company taking responsibility for everything that comes in and out of leads and outbound centers.

We can also push contracts to a review scenario. Energy BPO would then buy the lead, providing consultative services to match the buyer with the “best” energy choice in their area. This is also currently under consideration.

Understand that Nothing has Happened Yet

The laws of TCPA are very different than brand and consumer laws.

We are in constant contact with the Leads Council, an entity that deals with regulators and lobbyists, to identify the options moving forward.  Energy BPO is already working on possible solutions to tackle these potential changes at the publisher level as well.

Bottom Line

The time to buy and market to leads is now, as energy markets and energy companies’ ability to provide decent leads at reasonable prices won’t last forever.

Watch for future bulletins on this important subject.

Video consolidated from PACE November 2022 Nashville Conference

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