SSRS EVP Chintan Turakhia Quoted in Consumer Reports

SSRS EVP Chintan Turakhia Quoted in Consumer Reports

Why Robocalls Are Even Worse Than You Thought

Consumer Reports talked to representatives from industries large and small that rely heavily on the telephone about the impact robocalls are having on the way we communicate—or fail to communicate—with each other. Businesses are feeling it on their bottom lines. But the don’t-answer-the-phone backlash is also having an effect on other callers that parents and consumers in general might want to hear from, such as public schools, churches, charitable organizations, political campaigns, or public opinion survey takers, Consumer Reports has found.

It’s well-documented that victims are cheated out of billions each year from robocall scammers. However, there doesn’t appear to be an official tally of how much businesses that rely on the phone for legitimate purposes are losing in terms of financial or other resources. Mark W. Brennan, a partner at the international law firm Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., who advises corporate clients on communications issues, says “the financial costs to consumers and businesses alike are substantial.”

As one example, he tells of cable and utility companies that send installation or repair crews out in a truck to people’s homes for an appointment. “Normally they will call to confirm. But if the customer doesn’t answer the phone for the appointment reminder and the truck shows up when they’re not there, by one estimate, that’s a $150 cost.”

And the problem is about more than just dollars and cents. “In the healthcare context, missed appointments from ignored reminder calls can cause significant treatment delays,” Brennan says. “Adherence reminders have been shown to improve patient outcomes, so it’s potentially life-threatening when those phone calls are missed.”