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FCC Leaves It to Carriers to Block Robocalls

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By George Khoury, Esq. on June 11, 2019 12:00 PM

If you've noticed an uptick in robocalls to your phone, then you're not alone.

We all have, and for a few reasons. First and foremost, we sign up for, agree and appreciate certain robocalls, like those from our banks asking us about fraudulent activity when you make that really well deserved but uncharacteristic big spend, or those from your doctor, dentist, or other service professional, reminding you about an appointment. However, those are generally wanted, while the vast majority of the robocalls we receive are unwanted.

Charming Chairman

Announcing the FCC's rule, the chairman made a statement about how all Americans can agree that unwanted robocalls are annoying. But while he seemed to express that the FCC was doing something about the problem, the reality is that the FCC is stepping back and telling the phone carriers that it’s up to them to block the robocalls for their customers.

What's more is that there is no prohibition on communications carriers charging their customers additional fees to block the robocalls. And that's not even the worst of it. As it stands, customers that opt to allow their phone carriers to block robocalls might end up missing out on the robocalls they actually want, need, or even rely upon. After all, some robocalls are actually good.

Failing to Protect Consumers

Notably though, the FCC explained that if the phone carriers can’t do the trick, then it will step in to regulate. But, as we've all seen, the robocallers, telemarketers, and spammers, will always seem to find a way to bombard us, which begs the question of why the FCC isn't trying to work in conjunction with the carriers by developing regulations to ensure that each is providing U.S. phone consumers with at least a basic level of protection from these invasive and annoying calls.

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