Avoiding High-Dollar Consequences for Utilities: TCPA Compliance
November 14-15, 2016
Denver, CO

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Overview

Similar to other industries (banking, healthcare, etc.), the energy industry views automated telephone calls and text messages as a current means of communication for a variety of reasons, such as notifying customers of energy-saving programs, unpaid balances, alternative billing arrangements or unplanned service outages. However, before utilizing automated calls or text messages, utilities need to be cognizant of the laws and regulations controlling their use.

For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) TCPA rules impose significant restrictions on automated calls and text messages, including those sent by utilities. With high-dollar consequences and unique challenges for the energy industry, utilities need to have strong compliance procedures in place for communicating with customers. Even a seemingly innocuous and well-intentioned text message can have very expensive ramifications.

The moment of clarity for utilities was the 2013 class action lawsuit for $100 million, Grant v. Commonwealth Edison Co., over a simple text entitled “You are now subscribed to ComEd outage alerts . . .”  Although that case settled for $5 million, plaintiffs are continuing to pursue individual and class action TCPA lawsuits. It is clearly big business, with TCPA litigation growing by 560% between 2010 and 2014.

At EUCI’s “TCPA Compliance Conference,” attendees will hear from utilities, legal professionals, industry experts, and researchers as they share ideas and solutions for utility compliance, as well as the challenges on the horizon. This event will provide the opportunity for utility counsel, credit, communications, and customer service professionals to learn the key compliance tools and operational practices to help avoid multi-million dollar TCPA lawsuits.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review what utilities need to know and implement in order to be TCPA compliant
  • Discuss programs and processes that enable utilities to avoid lawsuits
  • Explain details about the 2015 FCC TCPA decision and the recent utility sector ruling
  • Discuss consent management, verifying phone ownership, the FCC’s risk mitigation suggestions and additional factors that utilities need to consider
  • Explain how compliance can ameliorate the outage communication process

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

This program will include case studies, panel discussions and PowerPoint presentations.

Agenda

Monday, November 14, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Opening Remarks

8:45 – 9:45 a.m. :: TCPA: Recent Developments and Key Compliance Challenges for Utilities

In this opening session, Mark W. Brennan from Hogan Lovells US LLP will share his insights on the TCPA, as well as FCC and FTC policy and enforcement. Mr. Brennan will provide an overview of the TCPA and provide the audience with actionable compliance strategies. The following topics will be covered:

  • Discuss the TCPA’s key requirements
  • Provide details about the 2015 FCC TCPA decision and the recent utility sector ruling
  • Explain customer contact vs. marketing vs. emergency calls
  • Analytics and texting
  • Offer strategies to help protect against class action lawsuits and regulatory enforcement actions

Mark W. Brennan, Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. :: Robocalls & Utilities: Considerations for complying with the TCPA

This session will review the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Orders affecting the utility industry. We will also discuss recent trends, and what areas of uncertainty remain – like reassigned cellphone numbers. In addition, what considerations to make when asking a customer for consent to receive calls will be covered.

Nick Pascale, Assistant General Counsel, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NRECA

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Utility Perspectives on TCPA

This session takes look at TCPA compliance from the perspective of utilities. Each panelist will provide a brief overview of their operational practices in place to help them maintain compliancy. This interactive panel will respond to inquiries from the moderator and audience on how they and other utilities can avoid expensive lawsuits when communicating with customers.

Moderator: Nick Pascale, Assistant General Counsel, NRECA

Panelists:

Traci Braun, Associate General Counsel, Exelon

Andrea Stone, Attorney, Pinnacle West/Arizona Public Service

Amy Watson, Attorney, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, IREA

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:15 – 4:45 p.m. :: Strategies for Mitigating Different Types of TCPA Risks

TCPA lawsuits are on the rise and utilities need to understand TCPA compliance and risks. Utilities need to know how to mitigate the risks, whether it’s reassigned phones, consent, communication content (marketing vs collections vs informational vs emergency), type of communication (text vs auto-dial vs manual), etc. In this session, several industry experts will provide presentations sharing their thoughts and solutions about TCPA (what it is, what it means, the key issues to be addressed, etc.).

Chris Clark, Director of Risk and Compliance, Neustar

Steve Kusic, CEO, National Recovery Agency

Rob Gilpin, National Sales Director, KUBRA/iFactor

Jay Malin, Founder & Managing Director, AGENT511

Vendor Panel Discussion

In this interactive panel discussion, the experts will respond to inquiries from the moderator and audience on understanding consent, consent management, verifying phone ownership, the FCC’s risk mitigation suggestions and additional factors that utilities need to consider.

The panelists will discuss the necessary requirements and challenges for utilities as it pertains to being compliant.

Moderator: Mark Brennan, Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP

Panelists:

Chris Clark, Director of Risk and Compliance, Neustar

Steve Kusic, CEO, National Recovery Agency

Rob Gilpin, National Sales Director, KUBRA/iFactor

Giff Gfroerer, Regional Mobile Director, i2SMS, LLC

Jay Malin, Founder & Managing Director, AGENT511

4:45 – 5:45 p.m. :: Networking Reception


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. :: TCPA call requirements – Honoring preferences while communicating effectively

The FCC imposed TCPA rules that allow customers to more clearly define how they want to be contacted with automated texts and calls. For a telecommunications company such as AT&T, it was important that we could clearly define to our customers how their choices affected their communications, and give them those choices in a clear manner. We also needed to ensure we navigated all the steps to inventory the transactional messages and ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the data.  In this session, the focus will be on the digital online space including how to bring consistency with other touch points, such as customer care and retail locations, to ensure we are honoring their preferences.

Lisa Willis, Lead Compliance Analyst, AT&T

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. :: The Edison Electric Institute’s Petition Paper

With the addition of smart grid technology, there is a need to educate customers about demand response and energy efficiency programs, and at the urging of state regulatory commissions and consumer groups, utilities were making much more extensive use of prerecorded communications to contact customers. As a result of this The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), has sought clarification from both the FCC and the courts on behalf of electric utilities. The EEI filed a petition with the FCC arguing that electric utilities should receive exemptions under the TCPA for certain communications. Aryeh Fishman will provide an update on EEI’s position paper and where it stands.

Aryeh Fishman, Associate General Counsel, Edison Electric Institute, EEI

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. :: Outage Communications and TCPA: Friends or Foes

Outages can cause contact center volumes to skyrocket. Customers call to report the outage, send emails to find out what the estimated time of restoration will be, and continually refresh the utility’s mobile site to see impacted areas. However, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) limits our ability to engage in outbound communications during these events. Learn how compliance with TCPA regulations can ameliorate the outage communication process and create more-satisfied customers.

Jeffrey Daigle, Senior Research Analyst- Customer Experience Practice, E Source

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Compliant Contact Strategy

There are two schools of thought regarding a customer contact strategy: one thought is that you do not call cell numbers, and the other thought is that you do call cell numbers. If you are in the former, doing business has probably been tougher over the last several months as more and more consumers abandon landline phones – unfortunately it is only going to get worse. Calling cell numbers is risky business, but it can be done if you set the proper workflow in motion. The key learnings in this session include:

  • Create a compliant calling strategy
  • Improve dialing effectiveness
  • Understand solutions available to you

Colleen Rose, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Experian

12:00 p.m. :: Conference adjourns

Speakers

Traci Braun, Associate General Counsel, Exelon

Mark W. Brennan, Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP

Chris Clark, Director of Risk and Compliance, Neustar

Jeffrey Daigle, Senior Research Analyst- Customer Experience Practice, E Source

Aryeh Fishman, Associate General Counsel, Edison Electric Institute, EEI

Giff Gfroerer, Regional Mobile Director , i2SMS

Rob Gilpin, National Sales Director, Kubra

Steven Kusic, CEO, National Recovery Agency

Jay Malin, Founder & Managing Director, AGENT511

Nick Pascale, Assistant General Counsel, National Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc., NRECA

Colleen Rose, Senior Product Manager, Experian

Andrea Stone, Attorney, Pinnacle West, Arizona Public Service

Amy M. Watson, Attorney, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, IREA

Lisa Willis, Lead Compliance Analyst , AT&T

Location

Hilton Garden Inn – Denver Tech Center
7675 E. Union Ave.
Denver, CO 80237

 

To reserve your room, please call 1-303-770-4200 or book online here.
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $159.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of November 13 – 14, 2016.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to October 23, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.

Register

Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 295.00
Sponsors
neustar  agent511  mb
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