End Robocalls

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I don’t know about you, but I’m getting an increasing number of robocalls. Most of the calls I get are robocalls. I have stopped answering my phone unless it is from my wife, daughter, or other relative or person who’s phone is IDed.

I was speaking with someone last week who works in a business where phone calls are critically important, and the office has several phone lines. Each phone line gets a continuous stream of robocalls. There are times, frequently, when this business that relies on phone contact with clients turns off its entire phone system for an hour or two. That seems to temporarily reduce the number of robocalls, allowing for a brief period when customers can get through.

This madness must end!

I have a proposal to end robocall.

The US Congress passes a law that eliminates robocalls entirely. You simply can’t ever do them.

The robocall lobby will object, and fight, and make it impossible for such a bill to be passed. So, I have an additional set of provisions to help to get a bill like his through.

1) The ban on robocalls can not be lifted in any way for five years. That should give time for all the equipment to get old and all the people in the business to drift off.

2) If an exception is allowed, say for emergency calling systems, it can only be allowed on a state by state basis and only for a maximum of six months, but extendable. This way, any lifting of the ban will require re-evaluation and thus, it is possible that it will be less abused than similar laws have in the past.

In addition to banning all robocalling, it will be necessary, likely, to ban phone communication to or from countries that send out illegal robocalling.

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11 thoughts on “End Robocalls

  1. I get 2 types of robocalls that are worth keeping. Both from the public school system. The first is the “peek at the week” from my kid’s principle, and though it repeats the info that is in the email, it makes me actually pay attention to the stupid thing that otherwise sits in a very rarely looked at inbox.

    The second are the schools are delayed/closed phone calls.

    I don’t think those types of calls, both of which were opt-in in the first place when I registered the kid for school, and have opt-out systems that are guaranteed to work and no exchange of phone numbers to any other business, should be affected by such a proposal.

    Everything else can go to hell. My wife was working from home, and it just got ridiculous the daily interruptions, especially at election season.

    1. I get the same calls, and I feel similarly, but we’ve been through this before. Robocalls were already made illegal or avoidable, but the legislation got written in such a way that the ban was a joke. I am willing to jettison those good calls if they could all be gone, if necessary.

      I’m just worried that the legislation would be written in such a way that the robocalls would continue if there is any loophole. Or, that the robocalls we are getting are actually illegal but unstoppable. If we bad all the calls, it might be possible to use a technological fix.

      Here is an alternative solution that might sound crazy but that I’m pretty sure would work.If we need to get critical info from school, let’s buy 25$ cell phones that do only that. They would not use the standard subnetworks of cell phones, and would only be useful for communicating with the school.

      It seems crazy to take a technology (smart phones) that can in theory do everything we need them to do, then not use them for an entire category of important information because robocalls can’t be stopped otherwise, but I’m willing to do it just to force the issue.

      By the way, I’m not so sure those school call lists are not given to others. Are you certain of that?

  2. Why couldn’t school daily information be sent by mass text? That’s done locally. In the rare case of an emergency calls go out, but closings, etc., can be received by text only if you opt in.

    1. Dean, text, emails, etc are all great ways to communicate all of this as hoc situational information

      Add to that well organized human phone tree, and we don’t need no stinking robocalls.

  3. Greg:

    I totally agree.

    Worse – mine come on my cell phone (which I thought was illegal, unless not commercial).

    Mostly credit card offers and scams.

    I don’t really know, because as soon as a computer starts talking, I hang up.

    I support your plan 100%.

  4. You can ban robocalls if you like, but it will be nearly as effective as banning paying for sex: It will only be news if an NFL owner robocalls you. The existing bans on calling are victims of terrible enforcement, and allowing the survivors of robocalling to sue falls apart when you try to locate who called. Robocalls will only end when they are no longer profitable, and the appropriate sentiment here may be “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

  5. To ban robo-calls is to ban all calls, but robo-calls are easily handled..use your caller ID if you don’t see an ID then don’t answer. The phone companies can stop robo-calls fairly quickly….DON’T give the robo-callers any special rates. When I get a call from someone I don’t know I keep them on line and put the phone down near the TV. When the phone speaker goes dead I hang it up. Do that enough and they will go broke paying normal phone costs. But this is no longer a usable policy as the phone companies do not charge the robo-callers the same as us normal people.

    1. I am not a fan of phones at all and use one as little as possible so the robocalls are probably even more irritating to me than to most other people. One particular problem I have with them, besides the much repeated ringing is the way they use up the space on the answering machine with either silence or a very loud, obnoxious noise.

      Now that, apparently, many people don’t answer the phone if they don’t recognize the caller, the phone companies allow them to use an entire city as their identification or your own phone number, presumably out of curiosity in the latter case and knowing someone in that city in the former.

      I’ve long suspected that the phone companies are making money from all this nuisance calling. No evidence, just the knowledge that money rules much of life.

  6. A while back we had an instance where a company that needed to reach us stupidly used a phone with an un-named-or Wireless Caller ID. We ignored the calls until we realized that they were a legitimate caller. Now we feel the need to answer un-named callers just to ensure that important calls aren’t getting missed.

    A pox upon all industries that don’t provide any service to the public but instead exist by parasitically wasting people’s time looking for suckers to separate from their money.

    1. Exactly. I get a fair number of calls from first time callers that are actually people that I need to talk to. I can’t ignore those. But for me it is still not that many calls, compared to a business as described in the post.

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