Does "This call may be recorded" consitute consent? [Telecom]


Message Digest > Volume 28 : Issue 254 : "text" Format > Sam Spade wrote: > > > Isn't this a case where prudent planning can go a long way? I'm > > thinking in terms of calling customer service before I leave home, and > > going over my travel plans with them. Perhaps getting a supervisor's > > name if there is any hint of a run around? They are the folks who > > finally do the billing. > > > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > > > Please write up a report of your experiences and submit it here: I'm > > very interested in seeing how you're received when you make that > > request. > > If you are in a state where to do so is legal, I'd suggest recording > the call, so you'll have irrefutable proof of what they told you. > > Dave

If you call a company that plays an automated attendant message like , "For training and quality control, this call may be recorded", does that constitute consent to record the call?

They don't say, "*we* may record this call" or "you may not record this call", they say "this call *may* be recorded." Sounds like clear consent to me!

After all, the reason I want to record my conversations with any company is to ensure quality control--i.e., that they keep their word.

Does anyone on this list know if this legal argument ever been used in any state or federal court?


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It may depend on jurisdiction.

Here in UK you can record any call without asking permission, but AIUI you need to tell any other party involved you are recording if you want to let anyone else listen to it later.

I always thought the recorded messages used in this way are inherently arrogant. Basically the logic is "our computer can talk to you and our lawyers think that is enough for legal clearance".

Since they go to great lengths to make it natural sounding, so it isnt obvious whether there is anyone or thing listening.

So if you tell them at that point that you are recording as well and they dont bother to collect that audio stream and record it, then using the same logic applied by the announcement that is their problem.

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I can record any call in every jurisdiction without permission provided I don't let anyone else listen to it later. ;-)

Reply to
Sam Spade

I think that "may" denotes permission so that I can record at my end to help me review my telephone etiquette. Also permission for them if you continue with call, and that "can" denotes possibility. "May be" could also denote possibility.

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The full sentence is usually "This call may be monitored or recorded for quality or training purposes." They're clearly describing what THEY might do, not granting YOU permission. And even if you do interpret it as granting permission, it's only granted for certain purposes; you can record it for quality or training purposes (who would the customer be training?), not necessarily to preserve evidence for a potential lawsuit. I suppose you might be able to make the case that reporting them to the BBB would be a quality issue.

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Barry Margolin

Not a legal but a grammatical gloss: the phrase "this call may be recorded" is grammatically ambiguous.

It could be understood as "we might well be recording this call" or it could be understood as "we permit recording this call."

Presumably the legal section of the company in question looked over the wording being used, and approved it, but with which understanding I know not.

Perhaps there's a legal convention for taking only the first understanding as the conventionally acceptable one ... as ever, of course, IANAL :-) .

Cheers, -- tlvp

-- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP

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In tlvp writes: [snip]


Kind of like "A Well Regulated Mili*&^(GP ^$%&&TGU No Carrier

Reply to
danny burstein

The usual legal convention is that you resolve ambiguities against the party that drafted the language, since they could have been clear if they wanted to.

But I would be surprised if there were any case law about this particular one.

R's, John

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John Levine

Past news reports and my own conversations with reporters suggest that prosecutions for such recording are extremely rare. IIRC, in the Clinton scandal, damning evidence was collected by secret recordings made in violation of state law, yet, the recordings were still utilized and the recorder was not prosecuted.

So true.

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