(ABC News) – Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Susan Collins of Maine have just introduced the “Robocall and Call Spoofing Enforcement Improvements Act of 2015.” Among other things, the law would empower the FCC to empower phone companies to empower consumers to block unwanted calls. There are a lot of links in that chain, which worries me, but it’s certainly a noble effort.
McCaskill says no U.S. phone company currently offers a service that allows consumers to block robocalls. “I think right now if any carrier in this country came out with an ad campaign saying ‘we’re going to block robocalls’ I don’t think they could handle the business they’d get,” McCaskill said. Some phone companies want to help but their hands are somewhat tied by federal regulations that muddy their right to intervene.
Take Verizon, one of the biggest. On its website, Verizon says: “We monitor our networks to detect spikes in suspicious calls, and then work with law enforcement and with other telephone companies to shut down illegal robocallers. We are also working with other telephone companies…to develop new technologies to stop robocalls.”
I envision all the big phone companies meeting — by conference call, of course — to discuss this. That’ll produce a solution in a few years. Meanwhile, “Rachel from Cardholder Services” plans to burn up a few million more of our minutes.