End Robocalls Takes AT&T to Task in Dallas Morning News Op-Ed
Public Policy Fellow
The End Robocalls team is taking its campaign against AT&T to its home turf in Dallas. This week, the Dallas Morning News published an op-ed from End Robocalls campaign manager Tim Marvin. In it, Tim calls out AT&T for not offering all of their customers free, effective robocall-blocking tools – even though AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson admits that he gets robocalls all the time, too.
The piece highlights Dallas Morning News consumer columnist Dave Lieber’s recent interview with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Stephenson says that he’s frustrated with robocalls to his own cell, but says (incorrectly) that his hands are tied in offering a comprehensive solution to his customers. As Tim recounts in the op-ed: “Stephenson says that solving the robocall problem for his customers would make him very happy, but companies like AT&T need to get the Federal Communication Commission’s permission to block unwanted calls for their customers.”
This just simply isn’t true. The telecom industry has long used that excuse for not offering call-blocking tools – but that’s why the FCC explicitly ruled in June 2015 that the phone companies have the full legal authority to offer these tools. Consumers like you even submitted 50,000 signatures to the FCC prior to the decision favor of call-blocking. Check out Consumerist’s analysis here.
This recent Twitter interaction between a consumer and AT&T shows that it still doesn’t have any good answers for consumers to protect their cell phones from unwanted robocalls, other than signing up for the Do Not Call list – which doesn’t adequately protect consumers from the flood of scam robocalls.
As the FCC notes, phone companies can and should offer call-blocking tools. Now, it’s up to you to make sure they do. Fill out this easy form to tell AT&T – it’s time to stop robocalls!