Blumenthal, FCC Commissioner, and Consumer Advocates Demand Robocall Blocking Services

Blumenthal Commends FCC Action and Demands Phone Company Cooperation 

Robocalls Are Not Only a Nuisance, Many Are Fraudulent and Illegal 

FCC Ruling Allows Phone Companies to Employ Robocall-Blocking Technology, Yet Few Have Done So 

(Hartford, CT) – This morning, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Federal Communication Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, and consumers called on telephone companies to offer robocall blocking to provide relief to consumers that are inundated by half a billion robocalls each year.

These robocalls are not only a nuisance, many of them are illegal, seeking personal information from consumers in attempt to defraud them. Despite laws against such calls—including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Do-Not-Call-Act which paved the way for the Do Not Call Registry-- cheap automated calling systems have allowed illegal calls to proliferate.

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a proposal cracking down on unwanted robocalls, allowing telephone companies to offer technology to automatically block such calls.

Blumenthal said: “The skyrocketing onslaught of robocalls must be stopped-- by new blocking systems that telephone companies should offer. More than an intrusive nuisance, many robocalls are dangerous and illegal, often seeking consumers' personal or financial information to defraud or scam them. Advanced technology to stop these invasive, inconvenient machine-driven calls is now feasible and affordable. Telephone companies should make blocking options available right away. The companies' continuing failure to provide immediate easy access to blocking technology makes them an enabler of anti-consumer abuses.  A crackdown on robocalls is within ready reach, if only the telephone companies enable consumers to take control.

"I applaud the FCC for their recent actions to crack down on this scourge, including providing crystal clear clarification to telephone companies that they can offer robocall blocking services to their customers. There is now nothing stopping telephone companies from stepping up to end these illegal robocalls, and I demand they do so immediately."