Can You Hear Me Now?


I'm happy to report that our topic today comes to us as the result of a special request.  Yes, you read that correctly, I have received my first topic request.  I'm always happy to accommodate any special topic requests that you might have.  Perhaps you've found yourself hankering for a refresher on Breach of Peace.  Or maybe you are unsure that your current workstation is in compliance with our "Clean Desk" policy.  Whatever the reason and whatever the topic, I'm happy to oblige when at all possible. 

Call Recording is one of my favorite topics.  When you think about it, the recording of telephone calls is performed in a wide variety of scenarios and, in our own business, we record all incoming and outgoing calls from our Corporate and Kansas City offices.  We use these calls for training purposes, for quality control purposes, and occasionally in legal proceedings.  Phone calls are recorded and broadcast on local radio shows.  Some of my favorite podcasts are pretty much centered around recorded phone calls or recorded conversations.  However, my absolute favorite use of the recorded phone call is the recorded "prank" (or "crank" depending on your preferred etymology) call.  My grandfather introduced me to the "prank call" tape when I was a child.  I'm not sure where he got them, but he had a tapes of a few different guys who would prank call various people with an assortment of ruses.  They were hilarious.  We couldn't listen to them with my grandmother in the car because some of them contained "colorful" language.  Prank calling developed generally after the invention of the phone and reached its apex as an art in the early to mid 90s. Some of my favorite prank calls involve an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboard and calls to gateway computers.    

While prank calling and podcasting are amusing, Call Recording generally has become quite a sensitive topic.  Various laws and regulations have been put into place which govern call recording.  In Rathbun vs. The United States, the Supreme Court decided that evidence gathered by police when listening in on a phone call between two people was admissible in a criminal proceeding because at least one of the people consented to the police listening in.  States have passed their own call recording laws.  These generally fall into one of two categories: a) One Party - only one party to the call has to consent to the recording; or b) All Parties - All parties to the call have to consent to the recording.  

As a nationwide provider of repossession services, United receives calls from all over the United States.  Some of our callers live in One Party states, some live in All Party states.  Because of this, in order to maintain compliance with state laws and regulations, we've implemented a policy that requires associates to disclose that they are speaking on a recorded line during all inbound and outbound calls from the Corporate or Kansas City Offices.  A failure to disclose that the call is recorded to an individual in an All Party state could result in serious consequences such as penalties, fines, etc.  

Remember, even if you get a phone call from Roy D. Mercer or Detective John Kimble, you might need to let them know you will be recording their call.