FCC Votes to Give Carriers New Powers to Block 'Robocalls'

For example, some people would want an automatic call reminding them to pay an overdue bill, while others might find that call irritating.

I sought to rectify this potential harm by requesting that the item at a minimum require carriers to implement a redress process for erroneously blocked calls. In order to meet that goal, the FCC has ruled that phone companies must offer a default option to block robocalls.

The problem of robocalls is like an epidemic for those who are at the receiving end of this favourite tool of scammers, telemarketers and other cold callers. "I think robocall solutions should be free to consumers", she said.

The FCC says "unwanted calls are far and away the biggest consumer complaint to the FCC with over 200,000 complaints each year-around 60 percent of all the complaints we receive".

He said if the same number calls over and over, it can be considered harassment.

"The reason for this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you".

The number of robocalls skyrocketed 46 percent from 2017 to 2018 - more than 26 billion robocalls were made in 2018. (D-N.J.) said he's disappointed that the FCC decision "doesn't ensure consumers don't foot the bill for stopping these calls". I am retired and have been on the do not call list for years. It also does not impose any penalties for phone companies who do nothing.

DREAMSTIME/TNS In recent years, technological advances have allowed robocallers to target thousands of phones with minimal effort, which some advocates say has rendered the Do Not Call Registry established in 2003 ineffective.

The agency expects phone companies to offer these tools for free.

The FCC's declaratory ruling reverses that and allows blocking to be on by default. "They're not a magic bullet", said Margot Saunders, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. Thursday's vote took procedural steps to make it easier to enforce that threat against major phone companies. Under a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also adopted by the Commission, companies that deliver voice communications over the internet are required to implement in-development anti-robocall technologies SHAKEN/STIR, which can identify and stop unwanted calls.

AT&T and T-Mobile have been offering robocall-blocking services since a while ago but they were opt-in, something a lot of people didn't really know about unless they chose to specifically look for it. In a statement, he said he doubts the technology can always differentiate between legitimate and scam calls.

"Earlier, I said everybody wants to crack down on unwanted robocalls", Pai said.

Verizon Communications in a statement called the FCC vote "welcome news".

The ruling could block legitimate businesses, including credit unions, from contacting their members, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions said.

A bipartisan proposal obliging the phone companies to introduce call authentication systems still has to pass the vote of the House.

  • Arturo Norris