Financial Trade Groups: Require Call Blockers to Contact Consumers

The Federal Communications Commission should require telephone carriers to promptly notify customers when a call has been blocked, a coalition of business groups told the commission this week.

“Currently, many callers are unaware that their calls are being blocked and instead are presented with false busy signals or their calls simply drop into a ‘black box’ where the caller receives no notification that their calls are being blocked or have been adversely labeled,” the groups, including the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the American Bankers Association and the National Retail Federation, told the commission.

Federal law requires the FCC to ensure that robocall blocking services are provided to consumers, with redress options for callers whose calls are erroneously blocked. The commission has solicited comment on how best to accomplish that and the coalition’s statement responds to comments filed with the commission.

“A wide range of commenters support establishing a per-call, real-time notification requirement,” the groups said. “Lack of notification harms callers and their customers,” they continued.

They added that the FCC has expanded call blocking without evaluating how to distinguish between illegal and legitimate calls. They said that the commission has “voluminous evidence” to demonstrate that many time-sensitive calls are being blocked.

However, USTelecom, which bills itself as “The Broadband Association” said that “real-time, per call notification” may not be viable for some companies using older technology. The group suggested that calling parties and voice service providers work together on best practices to address claims of mislabeling calls or over-blocking.”

The Competitive Carriers Association argued the FCC must continue to recognize the challenges that small and rural providers face.

Related:

Reply Comments Before the FCC: In the Matter of Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls

Phone Companies Still Blocking Urgent Robocalls, NAFCU, CUNA, Bankers Tell FCC

Hood Endorses Trade Groups’ Petition to FCC to Allow Robocalls

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