TrackBack records millions of calls and tracks emails worldwide on behalf of many car manufacturers and of course, their customers who are awaiting contact from a dealer. However, each market where TrackBack operates has specific laws governing how calls can be legally recorded and used. Whilst TrackBack always advises clients to seek independent legal advice, they do make available to clients the legal advice they have received for each territory in which they operate (currently 26 countries). In addition, they now have to consider the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) from the EU.

This post is not intended to be a comprehensive guide for regulations regarding the legality of call recording in the EU. A more detailed document derived from around 20 years of call recording experience as well as advice from Taylor Wessing LLP is available to all car manufacturers on request.

Whether GDPR applies or not, it is still best practice to inform all parties to a call if it is recorded. However, this is more difficult to guarantee with an outbound call from a Dealer than with an inbound call or an outbound call from a call centre. With an inbound call it is common practice to play a message to the caller at the start of the call to explain that calls are being recorded, so the customer and the Dealer are both aware. This is more difficult on an outbound call because it may cause customers hearing the message to hang-up as they may think it is a nuisance call rather than a legitimate follow-up to a customer enquiry (although this may become much more common in the future). Outbound calls from call centres can be scripted to ensure that the caller does mention that the call will be recorded but that is more difficult to ensure at Dealer level.

Under GDPR, any outbound call to a prospect needs to have been defined as being made due to ‘Legitimate Interest’. Assuming the OEM and Dealer have complied with this requirement during the capture of the lead’s contact data (TrackBack provide clients with detailed advice on this), then a call may be recorded provided the recording is only used for quality control purposes and is securely stored to prevent illegal and illicit use. TrackBack also provide a range of ‘belt and braces’ options for clients to ensure even more rigorous adherence to regulations, including RIPA and Investigatory Powers Act and ePrivacy legislation as well as simply ensuring the customer, and the Dealer, are being treated safely, fairly and responsibly.

But at the end of the day, TrackBack believes in simplicity. It’s why the product was designed to be universally easy to use by anyone, anywhere on any type of phone or email manager (and soon, social media channels as well! Watch this space). We take compliance extremely seriously, but will always seek ways to ensure nothing becomes overly complicated or unusable as a result.

We strongly suggest car manufacturers only contract highly experienced service providers where sensitivity surrounding consumer data is concerned. Nobody, worldwide, is more experienced than TrackBack in tracking lead follow-up.