Call Center Recordings

I like that in Wisconsin only one person needs to know the recording is taking place. You can record the person that is harassing you without telling them and use it against them.

I am familiar with some health insurance call centers that do have the option to not have calls recorded. This may be related to HIPAA, although I’m not sure. I think the CSR or recording advised of the option not to be recorded. I have used this option, since as an HR employee I sometimes interact professionally with the insurance company, but also sometimes have to straighten out a claim that is my personal medical business. I know the employee base would raise holy hell if there were mandatory recording of calls to the insurance company.

I used to work at a call center where we called people who had applied for life insurance to get their detailed medical history information. I didn’t work directly for the life insurance company - my company was a contractor for about ten different insurance companies.

We always advised clients that the call would be recorded for quality assurance and legal reasons, and they had to consent to the call being recorded. The legal reasons were basically that the information they gave us would be used to determine if they qualified for life insurance and at what premium. So if they later were found to be lying or had omitted information - or if the representative didn’t correctly write down what the client told them - then there would be proof either way. Along with advising that the call would be recorded, we also had a script to tell them that the information given was entirely confidential, would only be used by the underwriter to determine insurance eligibility, and would be given to absolutely no one else (not their insurance agent, not the client’s spouse, no one). I’m in Canada, so HIPPA doesn’t apply, but we do have other privacy legislation regarding medical records and health care.

In about a year (probably over 1,000 questionnaires) I only had about four or five people refuse to be recorded. In which case, we’d thank them for their time and finish the call. Then we would inform their insurance agent, who would then call the client directly and either persuade them that it was ok to have the call recorded, or decide to pay extra to have a nurse visit the client in person do to the questionnaire, or not apply for the policy.

I have worked in customer service for years, and the three different call centers I worked in handled this 3 different ways.

#1: Customer: “I don’t want my call recorded.”
Rep: “I’m sorry, all calls are recorded at random and I have no way to prevent the call from being recorded.”

#2 Customer: “I don’t want my call recorded.”
Call is then transferred to a supervisor(the supervisor phones were not recorded.

#3 Customer: “I don’t want my call recorded.”
Rep: “Ok.” The rep then documents in the system that the caller did not want to be recorded. There is no way for the rep to stop this, because at this particular call center ALL calls are recorded. However, if the call is chosen for a random audit, the person seeing the documentation will delete the call from the system.

Oh and as an ironic afterthought, at the second call center, if a customer stated that THEY were recording the call, we were to state " I do not consent to being recorded." if the customer persists we transferred to a supervisor, and if the member continued to record, the supervisor disconnected the call.

I know you were being flippant (or at least that’s how I took it) but at least in our call center, that is the case. I get between 2-10 calls forwarded to my VM from my supervisor each week with little comments such as “thanks for offering alternatives for her backordered stuff, great job!” or “for future reference, the bags the customer was asking about are made in China and are not food safe.”

Also, recently, we were having issues with our order entry software (it’s friggin FoxPro, whaddaya expect!??!) and it dropped a $2000 order I had put in that morning. The only reason we knew it dropped the order was that the guy was applying for Net-30 terms with us and when the credit department went in to release the order with terms, there was no order. :confused: Luckily, we were able to pull the call from the records and I was able to re-do the order without having to call the customer back.

Oh, and Harmonious Discord, I was being flippant. In all seriousness, if a customer said they don’t want their call recorded, I would explain that I have no way to ensure that it won’t be as all calls are recorded and if they had a problem with that, I would transfer the call to customer service.

Also, when you dial a toll-free number, you are operating under the terms of the paying company (the one you dialed).

You ‘opted in’ to this process, so we get to set the rules (for example, you can’t mask your caller id when you dial a toll-free number).

If we insist on recording, and you don’t like it, guess what your options are? No phone call.

It’s a circular argument. You insist that you don’t want to be recorded and get bounced around, and while this is happening you are being recorded. Unless you are somehow forced to use the phone, I don’t see how anyone can argue about the whole process.

Once you heard the message “This call may be recorded for quality control purposes.”, doesn’t that give consent to record this call? I can certainly view it as permission, and I’ll bet a judge would too. Why would the customer need to inform the call center employee of anything?

Why did the call center care if the customer stated that he was recording the call?

At a small telco (switchless reseller) where I worked many years ago, calls were recorded based on who the supervisor thought had the most interesting personal life.

Yeah, they’re not in business any more.

Fireclown already commented on the irony of this but let me get this straight with you. It is ok if you record the caller but not ok if the caller records you? How does the logic of that work?

Probably because the only people likely to record their own calls to call centers are people who have an axe to grind or are planning to use the call against the company/call center. Clearly the call center has an incentive to not deal with those customers.

I work in the quality assurance department for a large call center wherein 100% of our calls are recorded. Now, this is a call center for internal employees, not outside customers, and we get approximately 1000 calls / day.

There is no way for recording to be turned off for an incoming call (at least, no way for the phone rep to do it). If someone refused to be recorded, we would instruct them to contact us by email or in writing, I supposed. I’m not sure it’s ever come up, though.

IANAL but i would assume that since it is already established that the call could be recorded, the representative would not need to give consent.