What are predictive dialers and why should you care?
These devices enable telemarketers to optimize their time by not having to wait through ringing and unanswered calls to find a live prospect. A number of calls are placed at the same time and when someone answers, everyone else gets dead air time. Does it annoy you when you get out of the shower to answer the phone only to discover no one is there?
In addition to annoyance, many consumers react with fear because they think it is someone stalking their residence to find out if anyone is home before trying to break in, or they fear an elderly relative may be in distress and unable to talk after having placed a call.
The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators reports that some consumer advocates argue that the dialers are in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and should be prohibited. Under the Rule you have the right to ask the caller to take you off their calling list and the company is required to give its identity and the purpose of the call. But with the use of predictive dialers, if you get dead air you do not have the ability to exercise that right. And of course, that means they will probably call again.