SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 18, 2014--
Spam phone calls are not only annoying, but expensive: new findings
released today show that U.S. small businesses lose nearly half a
billion dollars a year in productivity by handling telemarketing and
other unwanted calls, according to Marchex,
Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX), a mobile advertising technology company.
The data illustrates that while the federal government’s National Do Not
Call Registry may offer consumers some relief from spam, it leaves
businesses exempt and unprotected.
Marchex aggregated data from nearly 40 million phone calls blocked
during 2013 to U.S. small businesses through its Clean
Call™ technology. The findings show:
Spam calls are growing – fast. The volume of detected and blocked
calls jumped 162% from January 2013 to January 2014 and is on track to
keep rising with the mass adoption of mobile phones.
Technology has made it cheaper and easier for spammers to blast out up
to tens of thousands of phone calls in a matter of minutes.
The average spam call lasts two minutes. That’s due in part to
spammers using more
deceptive practices to keep businesses on the phone longer.
Answering spam calls wastes nearly 20 million hours a year for small
businesses in the U.S. – which translates to about $475 million
Small businesses are more dramatically impacted than large national
businesses, which can direct incoming calls at scale through call
“Unlike spam emails, which can be ignored, spam calls are highly
disruptive and costly for businesses that rely on phone calls for
sales,” said Jason Flaks, Director of Product and Engineering at
Marchex. “This growing epidemic hits small businesses the hardest.
Fortunately, there are now solutions to address the problem head-on.”
Who are phone spammers? Marchex has found they range from computerized
robocallers to more insidious
fraudsters known as “chipmunks.” Chipmunks – so named for their
high-pitched, altered voices – manipulate metrics in click-to-call
campaigns by getting businesses to stay on the phone for 30 seconds or
more, which can produce the illusion of a “good” customer call.
Marchex started aggressively going after spam calls in 2011, after
noticing the detrimental effect these calls were having on businesses. Clean
Call technology is now used by hundreds of thousands of advertisers,
and from a consumer perspective, the system is invisible. The technology
and algorithms – which detect
and block telemarketer, robocallers and other spam dialers – evolve
constantly to stay ahead of spam techniques, which shift at a rapid-fire
To further protect small businesses, Marchex also recommends these calls
to action: ask suspected spammers to immediately identify themselves and
the reason for their call; request to be put on the telemarketer’s
internal “do not call” list; and finally, hang up if a caller won’t get
off the line.
“Small businesses are vital to our national economy and they can now
take steps to reduce the amount of unwanted calls they get,” Flaks said.
“We will continue to innovate with new technologies to stop spam from
wasting valuable time for business owners and their employees.”
*Estimation methodology used average hourly earnings from 2013 from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
a mobile advertising technology company. The company provides a suite of
products and services for businesses that depend on consumer phone calls
to drive sales. Marchex’s mobile advertising platform delivers new
customer phone calls to businesses, while its technology analyzes the
data in these calls to help maximize ad campaign
results. Marchex disrupts traditional advertising models by giving
businesses full transparency into their ad campaign performance and
charging them based on new customer acquisition.
Please visit www.marchex.com, blog.marchex.com or @marchex on
Twitter (Twitter.com/Marchex), where Marchex discloses material
information from time to time about the company, its financial
information, and its business.
Marchex Corporate Communications
Sonia Krishnan, 206-331-3434