How to record phone calls

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Remember the story about the guy who recorded a hilariously horrific customer-service call with Comcast? If I was on the receiving end of such disastrously bad service, I’d want audio proof as well.

Of course, there are other, more innocuous, reasons for recording calls, like if you’re interviewing someone for a job or conducting market research.

All of which raises the question: How does one record a phone call? There are plenty of tools available, but before you use any of them, make sure you’re legally allowed to do so.

Know the law

Sure, the NSA can get away with recording calls, but can you? As noted by the Digital Media Law Project, “From a legal standpoint, the most important question in the recording context is whether you must get consent from one or all of the parties to a phone call or conversation before recording it.”


Evan P. Cordes

There are both federal and state laws pertaining to this, and it goes without saying that you should investigate them before recording any phone conversation.

That said, when you call a customer-service number and hear the message, “Calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes,” that’s the company’s way of obtaining your consent. (If you don’t consent, you obviously have the option of hanging up.) To my thinking, this also implies consent on the part of the company, meaning you should be…

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