“Can I Tape Record Phone Calls”

NOTE: This is meant as a general discussion concerning electronic recording and its implications. It does not take the place of legal advice from a lawyer in your state when you are confronted with a legal problem.

Click HERE for the device I use to record wired phone calls.

Click HERE for the source I use to record wireless phone calls.

There’s no better way to document the facts of a telemarketing call than to preserve a recording of the telemarketing call itself. But it can get dicey….in 1998 I was sued for supposed wiretape violations by a telemarketing calling on behalf of Sears after I told them I taped the calls and could prove the violations. Ultimately I prevailed on the wiretap claim and the case was very satisfactorily resolved in my favor.

Both federal and state laws govern the tape recording of phone calls. I happen to live in a state that permits the recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call (single party consent) and I tape record all my telemarketing calls.

Keep in mind, however, that this is distinctly different from the laws governing wiretapping and eavesdropping – which is listening in on the conversations of others without their knowledge.

Most people are surprised to learn that all but twelve states have laws that allow the recording of phone calls with the consent of at least one party to the call.

For a detailed discussion, you’ll want to read the Reporter’s Committee For Freedom of the Press article “Can We Tape?”.