The Telecommunications Division conducted a public workshop on predictive dialer issues on September 26, 2002, and it issued its report and recommendations on December 23, 2002. Parties filed comments on the report on January 17, 2003. Approximately 26 organizations were represented at the workshop, including major carriers like SBC Communications Inc. (SBC); AT&T Communications of California, Inc. (AT&T); Verizon California, Inc. (Verizon), and Sprint Communications Company, L.P., as well as organizations representing consumers, including the California Department of Justice (DOJ); The Utility Reform Network (TURN); the California Department of Consumer Affairs (Consumer Affairs), and the Commission's Public Advisor's Office (Public Advisor).
Following the workshop, the Telecommunications Division made the following recommendations:
· Continue the 3% acceptable error rate beyond April 1, 2003, and collect further data on predictive dialer calls.
· Redefine an "error" as one in which (1) the predictive dialer disconnects a call answered by a live person, or (2) an agent does not respond to a called party within 2 seconds of the called party's greeting.
· Monitor consumer complaints the Commission receives about predictive dialer calls, segregating them into complaints of "dead air" calls, hang-up calls, and general dissatisfaction with receiving such calls.
· Direct users of predictive dialers to compile monthly records showing error rates being experienced.
· Use collected data to determine if the acceptable error rate should be reduced to 1% or some other level.
The Telecommunications Division also made recommendations on consumer education issues, suggesting that information on telephone marketing and do-not-call registers be posted on Commission and industry websites and in telephone directories.