Recording Customer Service Calls

Recording Customer Service CallsSome consumers record their calls to customer service departments for several reasons: recordings provide proof of poor customer service, such as leaving the caller on hold too long or failing/refusing to resolve a customer’s problem; a customer service representative who knows he/she is being recorded is likelier to provide better customer service; and for laughs, when shared to show just how god-awful customer service can be.

There are certain issues to consider when recording customer service. First, you should find your state law on recording conversations. Depending on your state and that of the customer service representative, you may need consent of one or both of you to avoid civil and/or criminal penalties. Federal law, 39 states and the District of Columbia allow recording if at least 1 party to the conversation knows it is being recorded. However, the consent of every party to the conversation is required for legally recording it in 11 states (though Illinois’ consent law was ruled unconstitutional this year). You can check your state’s recording laws here: and here:

Secondly, you should obtain any legally required consent. If you do not know the state in which your customer service representative is working, treat the conversation as though the consent of all parties to the call is required. Furthermore, some convincingly argue that customer service calls with the beloved recorded message, “For quality control purposes, this call may be monitored or recorded” (or the like) assume your consent to being recorded if you remain on the line; therefore, the consent of both parties can be assumed. With or without that message, you should advise the customer service representative that you are recording the call.

Third, you should record the customer service representative’s consent. The ideal process is to advise him/her you are going to record the conversation, obtain his/her consent, then turn on the recording device and ask him/her to confirm his/her consent before getting into the gist of your conversation. The idea is to avoid a secretive and possibly illegal recording.

Following those steps may be overkill because the customer service representative could not care less if you record it. However, the steps help safeguard you from civil/criminal penalties for illegally recording.


DO check your state’s laws on recording conversations here: and here:

DO obtain the legally required consent of all necessary parties to the conversation.

DO tape the other parties’ consent(s) to the conversation.

DON’T covertly tape the conversation.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Staff Writer

Note from This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author,, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.