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Recoring Phone Calls - Legality

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by agreatheight, May 4, 2006.

  1. I had a problem involving a franchise oil change station and my atuomobile. I will be calling their customer service tomorrow. I have a feeling I may be unpleased with their CSR response to my situation. I am sadly not optimistic. In the case of bad service I would like to have a recorded copy of this conversation, so that I may seek legal recourse if necessary or even possibly post to the web so that other people can have an accurate accounting of my experience. So the question is: is it legal to record a telephone conversation? My understanding of wiretapping laws it that only one party needs to be aware of the recording for it to be legal. Is that the case? Or do I need to inform the CSR that I will be taping the call? Anyone??

    Thanks in advance!!
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    In Washington State you have to tell the other person. Not every state is like this.

  3. Well, crepes - I'll be calling across state lines. I guess I'll just fess up in the begining, just to be sure! Thanks for the input - anyone else?
  4. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    They might be recording it, as well.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    If you call them, you have to tell them.
  6. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Calling across state lines makes it even more complicated. You'll have to look into federal laws as well as state ones.
  7. If they are calling you, you can record the conversation without telling the other party. But if YOU are the one calling, it gets a little trickier. Talk to your local law enforcement people to see what you need to do.

    Rock on
  8. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    only one party needed to be aware that the conversation was being recorded, or so we told many customers!

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Sorry, that's you conducting an illegal and unwarranted surveillance and you can get sued for enough that your grandkids will still be paying it off. You call me, you have to tell me if I'm being recorded. You knowing it (one party) ain't gonna make it.
  10. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    sorry guys but the laws vary state to state. in georgia only 1 party has to know the recording is taking place. how do i know this? i have done forensic audio for aan assistant district attorney for several years. i clean up their audio tapes for them.
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That's not universally true. In many states, recording a conversation is legal so long as ONE PARTY to the conversation is aware of the recording. So, it doesn't matter if you call me or I call you, so long as I know I'm recording it, it's quite legal. Laws like this prevent a THIRD PARTY from recording a conversation, but are not meant to restrict the rights of either party to the conversation to record it.

    Now, that law varies from state, and an interstate call complicates things even further. It's not always illegal, but it may be inadmissible in a court of law if not done properly. I would inform the other party of the recording if I wasn't sure of the laws.
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Most customer service departments say they might record for "quality assurance, and training purposes."

    Just tell them you are recording for the same reason.
  13. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Since legality on this varies by location you may be wrong (and in fact are wrong in many places). In Canada it is legal if one person is aware that it is being recorded. That allows things like wearing a wire, etc. It is also legal in Arizona it seems: http://www.divorcehq.com/articles/bugging.html.
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    +1 or just record it and don't tell anyone you recorded it (you probably can't use it for anything, though).
  15. Call the local district attorney's office and ask to speak with one of them regarding a legal question/ your question. Even ask for the public relations officer and pose your question.
    It does vary from state to state.
  16. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    That almost every ACD (automatic call distribution) telephone switch installed back in that era in Minnesota recorded every call (some would erase so to speak the call after hang up unless a button was pushed by the agent) was recorded. Some systems put a small audible beep on the line every few seconds. I firmly believe that at one time in Minnesota , only one party of the call need to be aware that the call was being recorded. I am sure that the law changed. Maybe that was for incoming calls, I am not sure and it has been a while.

    Now days of course you as a customer are asked, particularly credit card companies and such.

    Almost every phone system of any size (currently) has the capability of recording conversations and also not storing or storing the convesation.

    Iknow af a large insurance company that tells customers calling in that the call may be rorded for training pourposes etc. They record and save all calls coming , going and within the system. Supervisors and managers routinely monitor the saved calls for review pourposes. Employees are aware of the policy.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.

    How about video surveilance? Now thats a legal boondogle.
  17. Regardless of the legality, you may want to consider the morality of this. IMHO it is always better for you to take the high ground - no one can accuse you of stooping to an unfair level or taking advantage of a situation.

    Why not let them know you are recording? It may even go further to getting your complaint dealt with swiftly and effectively. I think you need to give these people the opportunity to do the right thing before trapping them into doing something wrong.

    Face to face is often better, but if you can't, then at least try to talk to someone in a position of responsibility, who can make decisions for the company. Give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove you correct in your belief that they are shonky.

    good luck
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I have often been wrong in many places.

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