CARY, N.C. -

In August, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that two final rules issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) will take effect as planned on Nov. 30.

Coinciding with new research showing how consumers often fail to respond to unidentified callers, the CFPB recently rolled out a series of questions and answers pertaining to compliance with its new debt collection rules.

The bureau’s latest guidance covers topics such as a limited content message, Zortman voicemails and phone-call frequency.

The CFPB’s information can be found via this website.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, First Orion, a provider of digital call experiences for mobile carriers, enterprises and mobile apps, released findings from its 2021 Brand Impact Report.

The report surveyed U.S. mobile subscribers to better understand their experiences with unidentified callers and their preferences with how brands communicate with them.

Findings show that 93% of survey respondents have received a scam call to their mobile phone, 90% say they don’t feel comfortable answering their phone when the caller is someone they don’t recognize, and 78% have missed an important call for this reason in the past month.

For companies that rely on making phone calls — like financial services companies calling to verify transactions or assist in applications and collections — First Orion said that getting the right person on the phone at the right time can make all the difference in providing a great customer experience.

However, First Orion added that the rise in scam calls have cost over 59 million Americans nearly $30 billion dollars in 2021 alone; as a result, consumers are apprehensive about answering unidentified callers.

The Brand Impact Report indicated consumers want call transparency from the brands and marketers calling them to make an informed decision on whether they wish to engage with the call.

When a business can effectively reach customers by phone, First Orion explained that it can lead to a better customer experience, higher call answer and conversion rates, and increased revenue.

When a business is unable to reach customers by phone — appearing as a missed, unidentified caller — 61% of respondents indicated that it could create a negative perception of the business, according to the report.

Additional findings from the Brand Impact Report showed that brands who identify themselves dramatically improve the chances of their phone call being answered and improve consumer trust.

And consider these other trends from the report:

• 85% of mobile subscribers surveyed consider brands who call with unidentified numbers as “illegitimate”

• 90% indicate that if brands would properly identify themselves while their phone was ringing, they would feel comfortable answering their phone again

• 84% would feel more valued if brands utilized call enhancement solutions like branded calling

“The phone call has become a pivotal tool in brand marketing and customer experience but with the rise of spam/scam calling, companies now have a responsibility to protect consumers during this essential touchpoint,” First Orion chief information and chief product officer Scott Hambuchen said in a news release.

“Brands who aren’t utilizing branded calling solutions are putting both their customers and their reputation at risk, and they are missing their chance to establish a trusted, human connection — one that their customers unquestionably want,” Hambuchen went on to say.