Senate Subcommittee Holding Hearing on Robocalls Today

The Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation is scheduled to hold a hearing today on the topic of robocalls.

The hearing, Illegal Robocalls: Calling All To Stop The Scourge, will including a panel of witnesses — the attorney general of Nebraska, a consumer advocate from the National Consumer Law Center, and a lawyer representing The Broadband Association.

Along with hearing testimony from and questioning the three witnesses, the hearing will also discuss a recently released report from the Federal Communications Commission on robocalls and how Congress is working to provide “relief” to consumers from illegal robocalls. The report did little more than rehash what the FCC has previously done and said about robocalls without providing any new ideas. One FCC Commissioner has gone as far as to recommend the agency set up a dedicated robocall enforcement unit, even though recovering fines levied against robocallers has not been incredibly effective.

The FCC is working on a new rule to clarify and update the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and both chambers of Congress are considering legislation aimed at either ending robocalls or beefing up penalties for those who make them.

For companies in the credit and collection industry, robocalls are a problem on several fronts. Legitimate collection calls are either being blocked by carriers or being labeled as spam by individuals and it is causing right-party contact rates to drop. Once a number has been blocked or labeled as spam, getting it off those lists is no easy feat.

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