Another 130,000 Consumers Tell FCC: Don’t Allow Robocalling To Our Cellphones

Federal law currently bars companies from making automated, pre-recorded calls to your cellphone without obtaining explicit prior consent, but banks want to kick down that legal barrier so they can robocall without fear of penalties. In February, 60,000 consumers asked the FCC to just say no to opening this loophole, and today another 130,000 Americans are adding their voices in opposition to robocalls.

This latest petition was coordinated by our colleagues at Consumers Union, whose website has managed to gather a massive number of signatures in a short period of time, asking the FCC to not allow so-called “wrong party” robocalls — in which the caller isn’t penalized for a wrongful robocall if the intention was to reach someone who had given prior consent.

Banks are also asking the FCC for the right to make robocalls without prior consent in certain conditions, like possible fraud notifications, or data breaches.

Opponents of robocalls aren’t against emergency calls; they just point out that if a call is so urgent, there’s no reason a real human shouldn’t handle it.

“Companies shouldn’t be allowed to make robocalls to your cellphone without your consent,” explains Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “But some companies are pushing for loopholes that would open your cellphone to telemarketing pitches, and would limit the companies’ liability for making these harassing calls. Instead of weakening the protections in place, companies should be working harder to ensure that calls are made only when the consumer has explicitly agreed to receive these calls. That’s why so many consumer groups across the country are calling on the FCC to reject this effort by industry, and preserve our right to say ‘no’ to robocalls to cellphones.”

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