Akron Beacon Journal’s Lin-Fisher Joins Chorus for End to Robocalls
Public Policy Fellow
Over the long holiday weekend, the Robocall campaign continued to pick up press about its fight to end robocalls. Last week, campaign director Tim Marvin was interviewed by Betty Lin-Fisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, and the Morning Call.
It’s been almost a month since the FCC clarified that phone companies could offer to consumers free tools that would block robocalls. Still, the phone companies aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to expand their anti-robocall offerings to consumers. As Marvin told Lin-Fisher, “The carriers are out of excuses. Now it’s time for them to get it done.”
Lin-Fisher checked with AT&T and Verizon to get their response to the FCC decision. AT&T referred her to a statement provided by lobbying group US Telecom, “[U]nfortunately, there is no single technological solution to solving this problem, particularly given the recent widespread abuse of spoofed numbers by robocallers. USTelecom’s members will continue to develop and deploy tools to their customers in order to address these unwanted calls.” For its part, Verizon mentioned the products already available to consumers, like “anonymous call blocking” and call-blocking apps for smartphones – though neither option would provide effective robocall protection for landline users. Says Marvin, “The fact is the carriers could be doing more to block them before they get to our homes.”
Marvin was also interviewed for the Morning Call, noting that “technology is available” to stop robocalls. Author Paul Muschick also reached out to several phone companies for comment, but was disappointed to find that “The answers I got were pretty vague.” While Comcast and Frontier deflected responsibility – Comcast said they will “continue to evaluate options,” and Frontier repeated US Telecom’s statement – AT&T and other companies declined to comment.
Clearly, the phone companies are hoping that if they ignore the issue, consumers will give up and stop demanding an end to robocalls. It’s up to us to keep up the pressure against AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink to make it happen!