How to Set Up Call Recording to Avoid Legal Problems

Follow these simple call recording setups to help prevent legal problems.
Peyton Duplechien • 25 Sep 2021 • 4 min read

When setting up a business, you want to make sure all of your ends are covered, tied in a knot, and secured. No one wants to encounter scary phone calls or letters that could compromise your business with legal troubles and infractions that could result in fines or even jail time. 
When protecting your business on the telecommunications side of the law, you want to keep your business and customers accountable. Call recording is one easy way to do this! 
With call recording, you can easily verify what was said by you or your employee on a call, protecting yourself, your employees, and your business. However, there are some roadblocks to legal call recording. The person on the other line has their own protections in place. 
JUSTIA, a legal web authority, states, “Federal law (18 U.S.C. § 2511) requires one-party consent, which means you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation. If you are not a party to the conversation, you can record a conversation or phone call only if at least one party consents and has full knowledge that the communication will be recorded.” 
Within federal law, one of you needs to know you’re being recorded, and one of you needs to actually be taking part in the conversation.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? 

Check Your State Requirements 

Yet, federal law is not the only law at play here. Your business also falls underneath State law. 
For example, in the state of California consent must be obtained from ALL parties, making the Federal law look very relaxed. Before proceeding, check out the information for the state in which your business is registering and practicing business. 
You can find additional state law information compiled by JUSTIA here.

Cover Your Business, Ask for Consent

We’ve all been on that call where before you even talk to a live person they say, “this call is being recorded for quality assurance…” and by you staying on the line, you’ve just consented. 
Sometimes an operator or agent on the phone will notify you directly. When you’re having your employees be recorded, it’s not a bad idea to add this into their employee paperwork having their consent to being recorded as well. 

Eavesdropping? Better Think Twice! 

There’s a clear difference between recording a call to be used for quality assurance and eavesdropping on a private conversation. As mentioned above, you’ll want to avoid listening in unless you have the consent of at least one party of the conversation. Then, you’ll want to double-check your state laws as well. 

Setting Up Call Recording

First, check with your phone provider to see if they provide recording options. If you’re using a digital phone service, they may be able to set it up for or with you with the click of a button.
You can check on this yourself by heading to the call flow section of your provider’s portal or website and looking for a record inbound and outbound calls button. If you choose to use the consent option, a great choice for interstate and international calls, you can search for that custom announcement function here as well. After which, you can set up the single-sided call recording if you only want to record your employee or yourself.  
Then, you’ll want to locate where they are stored and for how long. 
All of this you should be able to confirm with your phone provider.
However, if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur you may need to seek alternative technologies to set you up properly for legal call recording. 

Consider a Call Recording App

There are lots of phone services and technologies that can keep your business protected like apps. When looking at an app check out:

  • Recording quality- Missing pieces of a conversation could tell a thousand stories
  • Desktop and mobile version availability
  • Auto recorder- Does it record when the call starts?
  • Unlimited recording – What if you miss that one important phone call?
  • Integration with your phone system – Make sure your app works with your phone system. Check with your system first to see if they have a feature in place you can use. 
  • Storage of calls- Check with your industry to see how long you can and should store calls

Keep an eye out for any apps that may not follow all of the rules above or lacks in areas of quality recording. 
After sign up, you should receive promptings to forward your calls through the service or app and record them automatically. 

Outsourcing Your Calls Responsibly 

Business owners are naturally busy, well, running a business! So, when you want to take care of your customers but still take care of business and yourself, you outsource. 
A successful business can outsource its calls to a live answering service to keep its phones covered 24/7, 365 days a year, nights, weekends, and even holidays. This benefits the business owner by keeping business and life balanced and taken care of. But, are these calls recorded and kept legal?  
VoiceNation offers affordable live answering available 24/7 as mentioned above. At VoiceNation, we provide legal, safe outsourced live call answering. We record our side of the conversation only for quality assurance, keeping your business covered legally, your phones answered, and your clients happy. Plus, they get a real person on the other line, not just a recording. 
Contact us today to start having your phones answered by a highly trained virtual receptionist, keeping your business’s phones open, available, and quality assured year-round.