Demand That Phone Companies Give Consumers Free Tools To Block Robocalls

While federal regulations and the Do Not Call list have significantly cut down on some auto-dialed, prerecorded messages, the problem of illegal robocalls still persists, mostly because scammers don’t care if they break the law. There are various technologies that phone companies could use to preempt even more of these calls but most consumers don’t have access to them.

That’s why our colleagues at Consumers Union have just launched a new online campaign at endrobocalls.org, where people can sign a petion demanding that telephone companies provide consumers with access to free tools to keep robocalls at bay.

Examples of existing tech that could be deployed to curb these obnoxious, and often illegal, calls include systems that identify telemarketing calls and give users the option of blocking, answering, or sending to voicemail. Other services let users “whitelist” certain numbers that can call without restriction while the rest would need to provide a name before the recipient decides whether or not to answer the call.

These sorts of technologies have been deployed in other countries, and Consumers Union says they have resulted in a significant drop in the number of unwanted calls.

While some phone service providers have claimed they don’t have the authority to allow consumers to block robocalls, Consumers Union recently filed comments with the FCC detailing the ways in which the law already gives phone companies the ability to offer call-blocking options to consumers.

“Americans are sick and tired of robocallers that invade their homes and try to rip them off with predatory scams,” said Christina Tetreault, staff attorney for Consumers Union. “It’s time for phone companies to stop dragging their feet and empower consumers to put an end to unwanted robocalls.”

To add your name to the more than 75,000 who have already signed the petition go to endrobocalls.org.