FCC Confirms: Entire U.S. Government Allowed To Place Annoying Robocalls

Last fall, Congress passed — and the President signed — an emergency budget bill that opened up a loophole that allows federal agencies, and private companies working on the government’s behalf, to make debt collection robocalls. However, a recently released ruling from the Federal Communications Commissions makes it clear that the entire U.S. government is exempt from rules limiting the use of robocalls to American consumers, so long at it involves government business. [More]


14 Excuses AT&T Gave Customers For Not Blocking Robocalls

A few weeks back, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson inaccurately claimed that his company can’t offer free robocall-blocking technology because it needs permission from the FCC first. With that explanation debunked, a number of AT&T customers tried to give Darth Randy their permission to install these call-blocking services. As you might expect, the responses from AT&T were a mixed bag of fictions and excuses. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Nomorobo Announces $5/Month Robocall-Blocking App For Mobile Phones

If you’re plagued with marketing robocalls on your Android or iOS mobile phone, some relief might be coming soon. This afternoon, the makers of call filter Nomorobo announced that they’re introducing a mobile app for the two dominant smartphone operating systems to block robocalls. The bad news: it’s not free to users. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Feds Shut Down Florida-Based Debt-Relief Robocall Scammers

A federal court has issued a restraining order against a network of Florida-based robocallers who bilked more than $15.6 million from victims through the use of auto-dialed, prerecorded scam calls pitching bogus credit card rate reduction under the generic guise “Bank Card Services” or “Credit Assistance Program.” [More]

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Two months ago, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) introduced the ROBOCOP Act, a bill that would compel phone service providers to finally make it easier for customers to block automated and prerecorded robocalls. With that bill sitting idly in committee — and executives like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson incorrectly claiming they need permission to deploy robo-blockers — maybe it’s time for ROBOCOP 2: The Senate Version. [More]

C x 2

AT&T CEO Says He Can’t Deploy Robocall Blockers Without FCC Approval. He’s Wrong

On his personal phone line, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson blocks unwanted, pre-recorded and auto-dialed robocalls. So why is Darth Randy not making this technology available for all of his customers? He claims it’s because he needs the FCC’s permission to do so, but the FCC says that just isn’t so. [More]

Dan Coulter

Here’s How To Tell The FCC How You Feel About New Debt Collection Robocall Loophole

Now that the government has carved out a loophole allowing it to place automated and/or pre-recorded robocalls to consumers to collect any debts owed to the federal government, the FCC is trying to come up with robocall rules that aren’t entirely awful. Consumers have a short window of time to chime in on these rules, so here’s how to share your feelings with the FCC. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

FCC Trying To Minimize Annoyances From New Robocall Debt Collection Loophole

Last fall, a rider to a must-pass federal budget bill kicked down the barricade that has prevented government debt collectors from annoying hundreds of millions of consumers with auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls. Lawmakers hate the bill, but they won’t consider any legislation to close the loophole. The White House’s own analysis of the loophole shows that it won’t really bring in any more money, and could actually be a revenue loser, but the administration isn’t doing anything to roll back the changes. Attorneys general hate it too, but they enforce laws instead of writing them. With an August deadline looming, the Federal Communications Commission has no choice but to move forward with making the loophole as palatable as possible. [More]

“ROBOCOP Act” Would Force Phone Companies To Do Something About Robocalls

“ROBOCOP Act” Would Force Phone Companies To Do Something About Robocalls

As we’ve shown before, wireless and landline phone companies can do something to provide customers with free and easy-to-use tools to block unwanted automated calls — they just aren’t doing it, even when hundreds of thousands of consumers explicitly ask them to. A new piece of legislation introduced today hopes to compel the telecom providers to finally make it easier for customers to just say no to robocalls. [More]


Student Loan Companies Tell Congress: Debt-Collection Robocalls Are In Borrowers’ Best Interest

Show me someone who supports robocalls, and I’ll show you someone that has very few friends. Which is why it’s baffling that the Senate has yet to act on a bill introduced last fall that would close a loophole allowing the government to make debt-collection robocalls. But you know who does support robocalls? The student loan companies that are currently trying to convince Congress that these invasive annoyances are really for our benefit. [More]


Lawmakers Renew Push To Curb Unwanted Robocalls

In the last few days, legislators in both the House and Senate have once again pushed the issue of nuisance pre-recorded, auto-dialed robocalls back into the spotlight — urging telecom providers to give customers more tools for blocking these calls, and trying to roll back the government’s ability to abuse robocalls for its own debt-collection purposes. [More]

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Consumers Call On AT&T To Help End Robocalls

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Consumers Call On AT&T To Help End Robocalls

In spite of efforts to legislate and regulate them out of existence, unwanted prerecorded and/or auto-dialed robocalls are still dominate consumers’ complaints about their phone service. Today, our colleagues at Consumers Union delivered a petition — signed by hundreds of thousands of people who want the nation’s telecom providers to do something about robocalls — to the AT&T headquarters in Texas. [More]

Report: 858 Robocalls Placed Every Second, Most Of Them From Debt Collectors

Report: 858 Robocalls Placed Every Second, Most Of Them From Debt Collectors

How many unwanted pre-recorded and/or autodialed calls have you received so far this year? Judging by the numbers in one new report, we’re guessing it’s a lot. [More]

25 Attorneys General Agree: Close Government’s Robocall Debt-Collection Loophole

25 Attorneys General Agree: Close Government’s Robocall Debt-Collection Loophole

Last fall, with a government shutdown looming, Congress passed an emergency spending bill that also included a lovely little loophole giving the federal government the authority to make obnoxious, pre-recorded and/or autodialed debt-collection robocalls. Some lawmakers quickly introduced legislation intended to correct that anti-consumer move, but it’s been stuck in committee since. This week, attorneys general from two dozen states and District of Columbia called on the Senate to finally consider this legislation. [More]

(Brady O'Brien)

Dish Network Could Pay $24B In Fines For Millions Of Illegal Telemarketing Calls

When a company hires a telemarketing contractor, and that company makes telemarketing calls on your behalf, should you be held responsible for what that contractor does? This week, a trial in federal court began against Dish Network, where the feds and four state governments are seeking more than $24 billion in fines against the satellite TV company to resolve accusations that it made illegal calls. [More]

TWC has updated its VoiceZone site to include the option of turning Nomorobo on or off with a click.

Time Warner Cable Integrates Robocall-Blocker Into Telephone Service

While traditional phone companies have been reluctant to integrate available call-blocking technology to help consumers avoid unwanted “robocalls,” some six million Time Warner Cable customers will now be able to turn on a free feature that can cut down on these telephonic annoyances. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Warner Bros., BMG, Rightscorp Agree To Pay $450K For Using Robocalls To Hassle Alleged Music Pirates

Even when you’ve been accused of violating the copyright of a major music publishers, you still have the right to not be harassed by unsolicited pre-recorded calls demanding payment for those supposed violations. That’s why Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and other defendants have agreed to pay out $450,000 to thousands of alleged music pirates. [More]

Health Insurer Apologizes For Robocalling Senior Citizens In The Wee Hours Of The Morning

Health Insurer Apologizes For Robocalling Senior Citizens In The Wee Hours Of The Morning

There’s perhaps nothing more annoying than rushing to answer a ringing phone than to find a robot on the other end. But when that robocall is coming in at three in the morning? That’s an annoyance 10,000 senior citizens went through when a Massachusetts health insurer said it accidentally robocalled customers between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. this week. [More]