At the start of a week where I’ll be hosting a webinar on what to do when your calls are tagged as spam or scams, it’s timely to write about a comment that was filed by ACA International — along with a number of other industry trade groups — in response to a proposed rulemaking by the Federal Communications Commission that would give voice-service providers more power to automatically block calls they deem to be illegal robocalls.
A copy of the comment, submitted by ACA International, the American Bankers Association, the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, the National Council of Higher Education Resources, and the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, can be accessed by clicking here.
While stressing they endorse the FCC’s efforts to keep consumers from receiving illegal robocalls, the groups made sure to point out that its concern are legitimate calls that get blocked because the carriers think they are illegal robocalls.
In its proposal, for example, the FCC is providing a framework for carriers to use analytics to automatically block calls. Among the criteria that carriers can consider when deciding whether to block calls or not are situations where large bursts of calls are made in a short timeframe, where the average call duration is low, and where the call completion rates are low. Now, while those are three of 11 different factors, the groups note that those three in particular “may also characterize lawful calls placed by legitimate businesses.” Carriers should not be allowed to use those three criteria alone to block calls, the groups recommend.
The groups also called on the FCC to initiate a rulemaking aimed at requiring carrier to provide real-time notifications to entities placing calls if a label like spam or scam likely has been associated with a phone number. Those entities should also be allowed to dispute if a number has been tagged.