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

Credit unions and other businesses that must reach consumers still are having their automated phone calls blocked despite the urgency of their messages, groups representing the financial services, collections and healthcare management industries told the Federal Communications Commission Monday.

“Although the Commission has urged Voice Service Providers to develop a mechanism for notifying callers that their calls have been blocked, many of our members report that they continue to experience improper, error-prone labeling of outbound calling numbers, blocking of legitimate calls, and difficulty identifying and remedying blocked calls,” the groups, including the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, and the American Bankers Association, told the FCC.

During the pandemic, credit union and other businesses have stressed the need to reach members and customers quickly about such issues as fraud.

In May, the National Credit Union Administration’s Chairman Rodney Hood asked the commission to allow credit unions to make automated calls during the coronavirus economic crisis, but the problem still exists, the trade groups charged. They said that in some instances, lawful calls are being blocked solely due to the volume of calls initiated within a defined block of time. One bank appealed to a Voice Service Provider to unblock its calls, with mixed success.

A bank or business making calls must be informed that their calls are being blocked, and if they should not have been blocked, the error should be corrected within 24 hours, the groups said.

“Consumers are harmed when outbound calling numbers used by lawful businesses are mislabeled, or calls from those numbers are blocked, because they may not receive lawful calls affecting their health, safety, or financial well-being,” the groups stated.


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