The Washington Post has published an interesting in-depth feature into the history and problems of the national Do Not Call registry and the “scourge” of robocalls.
Along with providing a comprehensive overview of the history of telemarketing, the article shares some interesting nuggets.
- The Federal Trade Commission has nobody working full-time on the issue of consumers receiving unwanted calls.
- Of the 33 cases brought by the FTC against so-called robocallers, less than 10% of the penalties ($19 million out of $330 million) has been paid by those companies, because they claim they are broke.
- One theory as to why contact rates among members of the Professional Association For Customer Engagement has dropped 20% is that “Newly zealous carriers are accidentally blocking legitimate calls from companies innocently trying to reach their customers.”
The article provides information about the apps being used by individuals and carriers, such as Nomorobo, which are cutting down on the number of robocalls making it through to consumers, but also keeping legitimate calls, like those from debt collectors, from being connected.
On the horizon, possibly, is technology that would authenticate a caller’s ID, similar to the blue checkmark next to Twitter accounts indicate that the user has been verified. This technology “may or may not” see the light of day in 2018, according to the article
Critics of the Do Not Call registry claim the list doesn’t work in deterring telemarketers from contacting individuals. The likelihood of being caught is small and not enough to act as deterrent. It is “nearly impossible” to identify robocallers, “let alone prosecute them,” according to the article.