NCLC Tells Senators: We Need Fewer Robocalls

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Consumer advocate Margot Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center powerfully defended the laws protecting you from robocalls in a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee this week.

Saunders testified on behalf of ten consumer advocacy groups, including Consumers Union, arguing that “consumers need more protection from [robocall] abuses, not less.” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller also spoke on the importance of reining in robocalls, pointing out that “We’re on track to set all new records this year” with regard to robocall complaints.

You can watch the archived hearing here. 

Panelists seeking to make it easier for businesses to robocall consumers without their permission received tough questioning from Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “This is the biggest consumer problem in the country,” she noted, asserting that consumers “don’t want” robocalls.

Robocalls laws are under constant attack by business interests who want more leeway to robocall customers without getting the go-ahead first – and even without making sure they have the right number. Debt collectors successfully pushed for a  carve-out in the law that allows them to robocall consumers without their permission to collect federal debt (including federal student loan and tax debt). This means that millions of consumers could soon begin getting hassled by debt collectors on their cell phones – even if they haven’t given the ok.

You can help protect yourself from robocalls to your cell phones by telling the FCC that you don’t want robocalls! The FCC is in charge of releasing rules to implement the new loophole, and is collecting comments until June 6. We’ve put together a handy form to submit your comment right into the docket. Now’s your chance – submit your comment today!

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One response to “NCLC Tells Senators: We Need Fewer Robocalls”

  1. David Broer-LeRoux says:

    Phone numbers are not verified by banks, the courts, police, etc.. I get calls all the time crome bill collectors, courts and the DA’s office looking for someone I’ve never heard of. I have had the police knock on my door looking for a person who used my address in court. Since the banks and the law continually fail to verify numbers what do you think the profiteers are going to do? A better job?

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