The practice of a business recording phone calls can be a tricky matter to navigate. While businesses are legally allowed to record their customers and their employees in all 50 states, consent is a major factor in whether a not a business can pursue this action. There are a multitude of laws and statutes that influence the practice of recording. For example, it is illegal to covertly record conversations that do not directly involve the business. This means that a business cannot record private discussions between employees without probable cause or without the employees’ awareness of the recording.
Recording Without Consent in the United States
All but 11 states (and Washington, D.C.) abide by a policy of single-party consent. That is, only one of the two people on the line needs to consent to having the call recorded. The remaining states entail more intricate, exacting standards that call for all parties involved in the phone call to grant consent for a recording to be considered legal.
Notable Two-Party Consent States
- Hawaii – While Hawaii is generally a one-party state, calls involving a recording device placed within a private place are considered two-party conversations.
- Illinois – Formerly a two-party state until its handling of the matter was deemed unconstitutional in 2014.
- Massachusetts – Rather than using terms like one-party or two-party, Massachusetts has a blanket ban on all “secret” conversations.
- New Hampshire
Unless a business owner has a specific reason why he does not want callers to know that their calls are being recorded, a more relevant question should be “Should a business record any phone calls without first gaining consent to record?”
How to Establish That Audio is Being Captured
When calls are engineered to promote employee training or improving customer service, most businesses preface their calls by inserting a previously recorded message after a call is answered. Consumers are so used to this message that most will just silently nod in acceptance of hearing a human voice, sometimes without thinking of hanging up. This automated information delivery technique covers a business’s liability by ensuring every caller understands the company’s stance on audio recordings before a caller ever speaks with a company representative. Other methods for training employees include demanding they read from a script that seeks consent from the caller before divulging any delicate information. Anyone looking to record phone calls must understand why they want to record them.
Reasons Why A Business Would Want to Record Phone Calls
While a business might record calls without consent in order to bolster the satisfaction of its customers, improve efficiency, or cut overhead costs, a huge factor in the effectiveness of such a policy depends on the state a given business is operating within. That said, any business looking to establish an informed-consent policy will likely discover that it is less costly, if for no other reason than protection from costly lawsuits, and may impart some of the previous benefits while keeping things on the level.
Recording calls is just one aspect in the world of business calling. If your business needs a phone system upgrade, get in touch with TC Tech Systems today. We offer not just business phone technology, but also cabling, security cameras, and managed IT services. Drop us a line today, and we’ll schedule a free consultation to see how we can improve your business operations.