CU to Phone Companies: It’s Time to Take Meaningful Action on Robocalls!

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

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.

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5 responses to “CU to Phone Companies: It’s Time to Take Meaningful Action on Robocalls!”

  1. PPLLLEEEAAASSSEEE help. I pay for that phone for my convenience, not for their use: invading my privacy, causing me to interrupt what I was doing, getting severely irritated and causing great harm to the hand set as I slam it into the phone cradle.

  2. Janis Forsyth says:

    It’s become more than ridiculous! For every real phone call I receive from people I know, I get 8 or more robo calls! Some even coming at 7:00 a.m. My cell phone is getting pretty bad as well. I’m sure the big fellows at Century Link and Verizon can put a stop to this harassment.

  3. Penne says:

    I am tried of hearing the phone ring several times a day knowing it is a robo call. I often do not answer because I suspect the call is a robo, thus preventing me from receiving timely important personal calls.

  4. Susan Rushing says:

    I am seriously thinking about have my home phone disconnected because I get many more robocalls than real calls. Many of my friends are in the same boat. Please fix this problem.

  5. Bob Arrowsmith says:

    Universal blocking of robocalls is long overdue. This is routinely done with e-mail filtering, web site blacklisting, etc. I seriously doubt phone companies will be able to eliminate caller id spoofing anytime soon. As NOMOROBO providea excellent call blocking on a shoe string budget, the big phone companies should be able to do it too.

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