The Federal Communications Commission urges wireless and wireline phone companies to help reduce the number of unwanted calls from robocallers.
At this moment, the FCC promises to offer protection against calls that are not requested. Private robotcallers must obtain approval before calling, and the Do Not Call registry can list people who do not want to receive marketing calls.
However, the FCC chairman wants to take a step further and asks phone companies to offer call-blocking services to their clients.
“Robocalls are currently the No. 1 complaint the FCC receives from consumers. Whenever and wherever Congress and the courts give us the authority, the Commission will push hard for strong, pro-consumer limits to robocalls and other unwanted calls,” said Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman.
Wheeler sent official letters to the CEOs of all major wireless and wireline carriers and intermediary companies, reminding them of the responsibility to offer blocking technologies.
The FCC chairman also requested the implementation of technical standards that would prevent Caller ID spoofing, which in turn would make blocking more efficient.
The vast majority of clients would like not to receive unwanted calls at all, which motivates the FCC towards adopting a more pro-active attitude.
A second suggestion was to limit the number of debt-collection calls that are allowed each month. Companies should do an identity check beforehand so that only the correct person is contacted, and the client must have the right to end communication.
The letters demanded a response within 30 days which should include practical solutions that could be implemented immediately.
Meanwhile, clients have several ways to deal with the issue. They could directly ask the phone company for robocall-blocking technology, or register their number under the Do Not Call list, or report the number to the FCC and file a complaint by phone, online, or by mail.
The Commission states that all non-emergency robocalls need to have prior permission, and the refuse of such an action can be made in any reasonable way. The companies are not allowed the right to ask people to fill out a form and mail it in order to revoke consent, and they are restricted to just one call done to an incorrect number before they update their calling lists.
The only exception involves calls or texts related to health or fraud alerts. These are allowed without prior consent, and the consumer can stop them at any time.
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