Trade Groups, Including ACA Int’l, Urge FCC to Strengthen Measures to Fix Call Blocking, Mislabeling Issues

A number of trade groups, including ACA International, met with representatives of the Federal Communications Commission last week to discuss the agency’s efforts ensure that legitimate calls are not either blocked or mislabeled by carriers, and, when they are, to provide notification to the callers in real-time.

Also meeting with the FCC’s Consumer and Government Affairs representatives were the outside counsel for the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, and representatives from the American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, and Credit Union National Association.

“Widespread” and “pervasive” blocking and mislabeling of calls continues to occur, according to the associations, who shared reports from their members. One bank reported that six of its numbers used for collection calls were labeled as spam because of the large volume of calls being made, and when the bank appealed the labeling to the voice service provider, the appeal was denied on five of those numbers. It took “several weeks” to ultimately resolve the mislabeling, according to the report of the meeting.

To remedy such errors, the participants reiterated their request for real-time notification when a number has been blocked or labeled as spam, and a 24-hour timeframe for resolving claims of erroneous blocking.

“Many blocked calls are urgent and time is of the essence in lifting erroneous blocks,” the associations told the FCC. “If more than 24 hours is needed to resolve the claim, the burden should be on the provider to contact the caller and explain the delay and provide a good-faith estimate of when the investigation will be resolved.”

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