CU to Phone Companies: It’s Time to Take Meaningful Action on Robocalls!
Public Policy Fellow
We’ve seen some incredible developments in the fight against robocalls in the last couple weeks.
Two weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent letters to top phone companies and gateway providers, strongly urging them to take quick action on the robocall epidemic. They asked phone companies to offer their customers free, robocall-blocking tools, and tasked the companies with developing and submitting plans within thirty days to meet the goals outlined by the FCC.
In particular, the FCC asked the phone companies to move quickly toward call-blocking. Many phone companies have argued against offering advanced call-blocking tools until they have solved the problem of Caller ID fraud or call “spoofing” – when callers, often scammers, transmit incorrect Caller ID information to trick consumers into picking up the phone. But the FCC made clear that the phone companies’ work on call verification “should not come at the expense of offering consumers robocall blocking solutions now.”
Not long after the FCC sent their letters, AT&T announced that they will lead a Robocalls Strike Force – an effort to bring together the phone companies to come up with a strategic plan within 60 days. AT&T also committed to implementing call verification standards when the standards are ready, developing a “Do Not Originate” program to screen out scam robocalls from commonly-spoofed phone numbers, and other solutions “where viable.” The other phone companies have yet to publicly respond to the FCC Chairman’s request.
We’re looking forward to seeing progress on the robocalls front, but we remain concerned that AT&T and the other phone companies have so far failed to offer specific timelines for meeting these objectives. That’s why, this week, we sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink – the companies we have focused on throughout the End Robocalls campaign – asking them to commit to specific timelines and objectives. It’s important that consumers get real solutions to robocalls.
We’re also supporting legislation in the House and Senate that would guarantee effective robocall-blocking tools to all phone customers. Click here to send a quick message to your legislators to co-sponsor the bill.
Have you joined the End Robocalls campaign yet? Click here to stay updated on all of our latest news and actions to help guarantee a future free of robocalls.