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Congress May Permit Robot Calls To Cell Phones

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the your-time-is-very-important-to-us-please-hold dept.

Cellphones 619

TCPALaw writes "While many hoaxes have circulated in the past about cell phone numbers being opened up to telemarketers, it now may actually happen. A bill, HR 3035 (PDF), has been introduced in Congress, that would create numerous exceptions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which banned autodialed and prerecorded robot calls to cell phone numbers. If passed, HR 3035 would permit a wide range of autodialed and prerecorded calls to cell phones that are currently prohibited, and would preempt practically all state laws providing similar protections. This is being applauded by debt collectors and banks (PDF) ... as if the bailouts weren't enough, now they get to make you pay for their calls to you."

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619 comments

Simple. (2)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#37555190)

I will send them a bill if they get through, and only pre-approved (i.e. in my phonebook) calls will ring my phone.
I ignore voicemail from everyone.

Re:Simple. (5, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 2 years ago | (#37555258)

I'm not quite that paranoid, but I don't answer my phone for numbers I don't recognize, and robocalls usually don't leave voicemail, so if I see an unrecognized number and there's no voicemail, I don't bother over who (or what) it was.

Am I the only person here thinking that at least part of the reason behind this is so that the GOP and/or the DNC can legally get away with robocalling voters?

Re:Simple. (3)

trunicated (1272370) | about 2 years ago | (#37555542)

Am I the only person here thinking that at least part of the reason behind this is so that the GOP and/or the DNC can legally get away with robocalling voters?

No, you are not. In fact, I think that's the biggest reason behind this bill. The new generation doesn't have land lines, so in order to annoy the piss out of potential votes, they need to be able to call cell phones.

Re:Simple. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555616)

No shit... As someone who ported his number let me tell you the last obama/mcain one was the f-ng worst. 20 a week for 2 months solid.

But just do as the gp said. DONT answer them. About 60% of the people who vote just vote party line anyway... Like it matters what flavor you are pushing just so long as my team wins 'go team'!

Re:Simple. (3, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#37555606)

Am I the only person here thinking that at least part of the reason behind this is so that the GOP and/or the DNC can legally get away with robocalling voters?

You're one of the few people who won't make it a partisan issue.

I don't answer numbers I don't know - since most of us don't get unlimited calling, I think any cold-calling absolutely sucks and ought to be banned, or callers ought to be made to pay credit to your phone account (whether it's mobile or not). I don't know if it's still this way, but in Brazil the caller paid cellphone charges for calling a mobile number. Suddenly that seems like a great idea.

Has nothing to do with GOP/DNC on that level (5, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | about 2 years ago | (#37555640)

they are already exempt from the restriction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocall [wikipedia.org]
Robocalls are made by all political parties in the United States, including but not limited to both the Republican and Democratic parties as well as unaffiliated campaigns, 527 organizations, unions, and individual citizens. Political robocalls are exempt from the United States National Do Not Call Registry. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. However, political groups are excluded from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) definition of telemarketer, thus robocalls from or on behalf of political organizations are still permitted on the federal level.[1]

Re:Simple. (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#37555676)

Am I the only person here thinking that at least part of the reason behind this is so that the GOP and/or the DNC can legally get away with robocalling voters?

I'd expect that's only an added bonus. Really, they're probably thinking much more along the lines of "Direct marketing industry wants this, telecom wants this, banking and finance want this, no industry opposes it, easy yes, win $50,000 in 'campaign contributions'."

Re:Simple. (4, Insightful)

kmankmankman2001 (567212) | about 2 years ago | (#37555696)

Am I the only person here thinking that at least part of the reason behind this is so that the GOP and/or the DNC can legally get away with robocalling voters?

Perhaps - as many of us are aware that existing law already exempts political calls anyway. The proposed bill wouldn't grant them any more access than they already have. There are MANY reasons to oppose this bill and I suggest that people should contact their congressman/woman to voice their concerns - but not for the reason you raise here.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555394)

what bill? you have to pay for received calls?

Re:Simple. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 2 years ago | (#37555484)

Yes, a lot of received calls in the US cost money, which is one reason why there were protections against marketers cold calling cell phones. If you have a prepay account, it goes against your tally, and minutes go against your plan if you have a contract.

Re:Simple. (0)

Moryath (553296) | about 2 years ago | (#37555518)

But they always exempted themselves anyways. I get cold calls all the fucking time from robocallers and phone pools for the local Republican turds trying to get reelected. It's one small reason among many that I won't vote for those corrupt goons.

Re:Simple. (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#37555496)

yup.
pre-paid phone. It suits my needs fine, and I only spend about $150-$200/year on my cell phone. Down side is that I pay for everything, listening to VM, text sent, received, calls).

Hello from the United States! (1)

sortadan (786274) | about 2 years ago | (#37555538)

So over here all the popular plans are paying for minutes used. Doesn't matter if it's incoming or outgoing, just total minutes. This is because we don't have a higher cost to call cell numbers like in Europe where I'm guessing you are, and instead the additional cost falls on the cell phone owner.

Re:Simple. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555416)

They won't pay the bill, you stupid little fag.

Re:Simple. (4, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#37555548)

Of course they won't pay the bill. But, I will send it, write it off as noncollectable, then file a 1099 with the IRS of forgiven debt. (nothing better than being pedantic with the IRS). I assume one of these days it'll get me audited, but until then I will continue to have fun (much like the guy who is suing spammers for violations of the CAN-SPAM act).
-nB

Lobbyists (5, Informative)

tmosley (996283) | about 2 years ago | (#37555198)

Isn't it amazing what a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions will do?

Re:Lobbyists (5, Funny)

gearloos (816828) | about 2 years ago | (#37555356)

Umm.. no. This was definitely a job for kneepads.

Re:Lobbyists (1)

what2123 (1116571) | about 2 years ago | (#37555662)

+1

Re:Lobbyists (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555680)

Isn't it amazing that everyone knows that our government is for sale, but nobody wants to do anything about it?

Campaign finance reform is a joke, since it has to be passed by the people who benefit from its absence.

Open source governance [wikipedia.org] is a lot harder to make happen, but considering that there are ZERO other options, what exactly do we have to lose? Our plutocracy? Our enslavement to the rich and powerful?

Old Glory Robot Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555204)

This is why I have Old Glory Robot Insurance [hulu.com] . My policy already prevents robots from calling, and in the case one gets through, I'm financially covered.

Debt collectors and banks? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | about 2 years ago | (#37555210)

I already get autodialed/prerecorded robot calls from debt collectors and banks on my cell (they drive me friggin' insane). That's illegal? Can I sue them for say, the amount of my debt?

Re:Debt collectors and banks? (5, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#37555374)

Prerecorded, I don't know. But if a debt collector calls you with an autodialer, you can take them to small claims court for $500, as it's illegal. If you can demonstrate that they willfully ignored the law, it's $1500.

Re:Debt collectors and banks? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#37555482)

Does that goes towards his debt? :)

Debt collectors already call... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 years ago | (#37555214)

When I got my cell phone a few years back, I had the misfortune of inheriting the number of a person who did not pay her bills. The debt collectors were calling my cell every hour or two, until I finally convinced them I did not know whom they were calling about.

Re:Debt collectors already call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555306)

When I got my cell phone a few years back, I had the misfortune of inheriting the number of a person who did not pay her bills. The debt collectors were calling my cell every hour or two, until I finally convinced them I did not know whom they were calling about.

I had the same problem I when I switched to prepaid (didn't migrate old number). Even now, three years later, I'll still get the occasional debt collector calling for Stacy.

Re:Debt collectors already call... (1)

gapagos (1264716) | about 2 years ago | (#37555486)

I had the problem too. Not Stacy, some some other girl who did not pay her bills, and I had to actually threaten back the agency calling me all the time so that they would stop.

Re:Debt collectors already call... (5, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#37555534)

I once worked for a debt collection agency when I was a lot younger, and there were some pretty rigid rules that had to be followed about calling people with regards to debt. These rules were set up by a central governing authority that determined accepted business rules and practices (I don't recall the name of the authority off hand). Among the rules that had to be followed, I remember that collectors were *NOT* allowed to call people multiple times in one day unless they had not reached anyone the first time, or if they had been advised to call back later. Also, hours of attempted telephone contact are restricted to between the hours of 7AM and 9PM local time for the person being called. Further, if the person that a collector reaches claims to be the owner of the phone number that the collector was trying to reach, and affirms that the person the collector is trying to reach cannot be reached at that phone number, then the collector *MUST NOT* call that number again to try to reach the debtor, and other methods of contact must be utilized. Finally, C&D notices, issued in writing, must be adhered to. If the collection agency does not heed these guidelines (the aforementioned ones are just a handful... there are actually about 10 or 12 or them), then the person answering the phone can report the collection company to the authorities, and the collection agency will face a very stiff fine.

Re:Debt collectors already call... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#37555660)

I gert regular calls for deadbeats that just make up a number. I've had this number for 5 1/2 years, never assigned elsewhere.

Feh. Loser deadbeats. Fortunately, I don't sound female, nor Hispanic, and the collectors figure it out quickly.

That's fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555220)

I'll just track down who the number belongs to and send them a bill - 5 bucks a minute should cover it.

Pay to call, not to recieve. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#37555236)

This is why cell phones should be pay to call. Not pay to receive. You have no control over who calls you, therefore it makes no sense to agree to pay for incoming calls. Any plan without free incoming calls is a non-starter for me.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555286)

You don't have to pick up the phone when it rings. Most cells have at least a number caller ID. I ignore callers I don't recognize to my phone because I ALREADY GET robo calls.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555462)

you have to pay to receive a call?

what happens if a friend calls acciedentally from his pocket?

that's the most rediculous thing i've ever heard, and that's coming from then man who said "custard cats shouldn't require knees"

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555502)

Yes, in the USA, cell phone owners pay to receive calls. It uses your minutes, doesn't matter if your making or receiving the call. I wish the carriers in the USA would switch to the European standard of the caller pays, but that will never happen, they have a good thing going the states.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (2)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | about 2 years ago | (#37555556)

Is this just a US thing? The last time I had to pay to receive a call on my mobile was like... 1997 or something... I doubt you'd even find a plan like that over here anymore.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555684)

Might be. Only some Americans are aware about how backwards the cell phone billing here is.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555728)

Yes, It is a distinctly US thing. You even have to pay to receive texts any many plans.

I miss the UK where incoming calls were free.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555744)

Yup, standard US service costs. You have an X minutes/month service. The minutes can be incoming or outgoing. Minutes generally don't get carried forward either.

I'd rather not have to pay to receive calls on my mobile from people who don't know me, or those corps selling or chasing someone else. I get enough crap on my home number from debt collectors chasing a women that chose to use my number for her deception. I get enough bots calling too, and unlike previous posters' claims, bots do leave messages, or even worse, when you answer put you into their queuing system expecting you to hang on!

It also costs about 40 cents (varies across telcos) to send or receive an SMS if you don't have SMS service in your package.

On top of your service charges, you get whacked with another 20% or so in fees and taxes.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555610)

Wait what you pay to recieve??

I'm guessing this is an American thing.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555634)

Not to mention it's double dipping... you pay to call AND to receive, so each call is paid for twice.

Re:Pay to call, not to recieve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555720)

So if a prospective employer calls me on my cell phone they get an extra charge on their bill. Nice.

You have to pay? (2)

RogerWilco (99615) | about 2 years ago | (#37555238)

You have to pay to be called? Someone can rack up your phone bill by repeatedly calling you? That doesn't sound right.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555280)

well DUH! you pay to be called because we're talking about cell phones here. hehehe. If you answer their calls, you are using your minutes.
But, yeah, It's totally not right. I can't believe they're considering allowing this.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555372)

Like me the OP is probably in the U.K. - we only pay for outgoing calls.

Re:You have to pay? (1)

Rakshasa-sensei (533725) | about 2 years ago | (#37555388)

Well DUH! what? You spend your minutes when other people call you?

If they want to talk to you then it's they who should be paying, right?... At least that is how it is in any sane country.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

said213 (72685) | about 2 years ago | (#37555576)

"...in any sane country."

This story is about the United States, you insensitive clod!

Re:You have to pay? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#37555412)

In many places you don't pay for incoming calls at all. The caller pays a higher rate for calling a cell phone instead. Of course that means you can't put cell phones and land line phones in the same area code prefix blocks since there has to be some way to tell which is which when making a call.

Re:You have to pay? (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#37555514)

In many places you don't pay for incoming calls at all. The caller pays a higher rate for calling a cell phone instead. Of course that means you can't put cell phones and land line phones in the same area code prefix blocks since there has to be some way to tell which is which when making a call.

This is true throughout Europe. Unfortunately the higher rate for calling a cell phone is often 1-2 _orders_of_magnitude_ higher if you're calling from the states on a calling card. Before Skype I used to talk to my girlfriend in Europe for 1 cent a minute if she found a landline or 20-50 cents a minute if I had to call her cell. At ~3000 minutes a month and grad student incomes it meant we had to put a lot of effort into finding reliable pay phones.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555432)

I've never heard of a pay-to-receive call in the UK. If you have just one penny in the account, you can receive calls for as long as you like, even on Pay-As-You-Go. You can even arrange to call someone with credit or minutes on their contract, they don't pick up, call your right back and you paid nothing to get in touch with them. I don;t think anyone would contemplate any plan when you pay to receive texts or calls (except via opt-in services, which are regulated).

Re:You have to pay? (2)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#37555420)

Not every calling plan has free incoming minutes.

And I remember, "back in the day" (1992 or so) when incoming time counted on my cell phone where I had 20 minutes a month, at $0.50 per additional minute over that. (that was an improvement over my starting plan, which was 10 minutes a month, $1.00 each additional !) Wrong numbers got VERY annoying very fast. Apparently a drug dealer or something was giving out my number, got call after call asking for the same person, and every single one of them hung up on me when I tried to get more information about who was giving out my number. Cell company refused to change my number without charging me for it, so me being out of contract by a few months, just changed carriers. (which got me a new number and some other free perks for switching) Funny too, they called me at my home number that afternoon to apologize and offer a free number switch, too late!

Those laws were drafted back when cell phone incoming charges were a big deal, and at the same time they were robofaxing and eating up everyone's toner to boot. Nowadays anyone with a grain of business sense is using a usb faxmodem to pdf to their computer, and the majority of cell phone plans are free-incoming-minutes, so these laws have lost a lot of their justification. I still support them, but they just have less justification backing them now unfortunately.

But yes it still happens. Telemarketing to cell phones has become a lot more difficult to deal with after the number portability thing went into effect - telemarketers can't just scrub area codes anymore to keep the cell phones out of their lists. And my mom's business fax, if she leaves it turned on it will print dozens of pages of ads every day so she can't leave it on. Sure it's illegal but those cutrate sellers could care less about CP laws. I should give her my old faxmodem, my OS doesn't support dialup anymore and my ISP dropped the local dialup line anyway.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555596)

This might be country difference, but I honestly don't know of any cell phone plan you could get here [germany] where you actually have to pay for incoming calls, except if you're outside your country. I wasn't aware that existed until, well, now, really, so I guess that might be one reason people are a bit confused about this.

Re:You have to pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555544)

Yep. Welcome to USA's calling plans. Nextel used to have an "unlimited incoming" plan, but it was $10/month. Maybe carriers have started doing this, but they didn't when I got my phone (a year ago).

Re:You have to pay? (2)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#37555594)

In the United States, it is free to call cell phones (subject to toll charges just like any other number). It is not free to receive calls on your cell phone (unless you have a higher priced "unlimited" plan). This is different from how the rest of the world bills for cell calls.

Re:You have to pay? (5, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#37555648)

Yep. When we say the cell market is terrible in the US, we're not kidding. We also pay for incoming texts. You can nail people for $0.20 a pop by text bombing them. The major carriers use incompatible technologies, so it's a major hassle to take your business elsewhere... not that any of them offer a better deal anyway.

Don't strictly blame Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555246)

Because you know that if the house were controller by Democrats, the exact same thing would happen. The two parties are basically one in the same. It's time we send Washington a message, and vote in different third party candidates. We need to not only show Congress that we're willing to vite them out, but actually do it, and keep doing it until we, the people, become the priority in their minds. Not the corporations.

Re:Don't strictly blame Republicans (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 2 years ago | (#37555524)

Republicrats suck.

If you vote either Democrat or Republican you are part of the problem.

Hmmm (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 2 years ago | (#37555248)

I guess the hundreds of pre-recorded calls I've received over the past decade were illegal?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555574)

I used to get robo-calls on my cell phone all the time. I never knew this practice was illegal! After googling for information on the annoying calls, I found that it was a telemarketing company constnatly trying to get me to sign up for Walmart gift cards, free gas cards and other kinds of gullible consumer gimmicks. All I had to do to qualify for the "freebies" was fill out daily consumer surveys. I simply installed an android app named Mr. Number and then began blocking the numbers that were calling me. I haven't received one of these kinds of calls in a long time. I do still get the occassional text message offering to help me re-finance my mortgage at a lower rate, or consolidate my credit card debt, but Mr. Number blocks these as well. The problem is that the originating phone numbers for these services change frequently, so I have to block each one individually. But this is no longer a daily occurrence, and now are quite rare.

Incentive -- no lobbying needed on this one. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555266)

Do you know who, aside from bill collectors, banks and telemarketers, wants to robo-dial your phone?

Those same congresspeople. For polling, GOTV and of course dirty tricks.

Re:Incentive -- no lobbying needed on this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555346)

Politicians can already call you. This was written into the law to make it less likely for it to be overturned based on the first amendment. Political speech receives more protection than commercial speech.

Re:Incentive -- no lobbying needed on this one. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#37555706)

I've gotten political robocalls for several years, maybe more than 5.

Re:Incentive -- no lobbying needed on this one. (4, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#37555366)

This is a public service announcement reminding all registered Democrats not to forget election day, November 3rd.

Re:Incentive -- no lobbying needed on this one. (-1, Offtopic)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#37555642)

And if you're a registered Republican, don't forget that YOUR election day is November 4th! Vote on your day! Have the say you deserve!

Might not be so bad (2)

Stides (461262) | about 2 years ago | (#37555312)

Maybe this will start a push for us to not have to pay for incoming calls.

Does anyone know if robocalling is useful? (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | about 2 years ago | (#37555330)

If it weren't, I'm guessing nobody would do it. But I used to get robocalls at my old business, and it was always very obvious, so I always hung up inside of 2 seconds. So someone must not mind being called, and in fact buy the stuff that's being marketed?

Re:Does anyone know if robocalling is useful? (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | about 2 years ago | (#37555426)

When we get robocalls at work, I always press 1 the instant it starts the robospeech to "speak with a live salesperson". Then I put them on hold.

Re:Does anyone know if robocalling is useful? (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about 2 years ago | (#37555468)

It usually old people, and the mentally handicapped. It's not PC to say, but older people are more likely to be easily swayed by robocalls, spam, and junk email. Unfortunately, they don't condone off those phone numbers, so the rest of us get called and bothered too.

Seriously? (4, Interesting)

black soap (2201626) | about 2 years ago | (#37555340)

Debt collectors and banks? They shouldn't be robocalling. Those situations are where they have a pre-existing relationship with the person being called, and aren't cold-calling anybody.

Robocalls are the telephone equivalent of spam. Why is it I can put a "No solicitors" sign on my door, but my phone must be subject to cold-calling from telemarketers, solicitations for "charities" and political groups, and any scammer who can operate a telephone? And they want to make it easier to bother lots of people at a time by allowing robocalling?

If anything, every telemarketing call should have to be hand-dialed, etc., no computer assistance. Think of the jobs that would be created.... Do it for the economy.

I wonder how soon the phone companies will work out a deal to let telemarketers call the phone customers, for a fee - because we know how much they care about the customers.

Re:Seriously? (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#37555526)

I have a "No Soliciting" sign on my door (it was from a previous owner). Contrary to belief, the actual meaning of it is that a person may not use your property to sell their product to other people. It doesn't prevent them from selling items to you.

Re:Seriously? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37555762)

Bullshit, my bank likes to robocall me to get me to sign up for their visa card. Last time they did it I informed then any future calls would result in my moving my accounts. If I wanted their visa I would call them about it.

Just forward your calls to Congress (2)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 2 years ago | (#37555360)

Just set up your phone to forward all unanswered calls to your Congressman's office. If you don't know who is calling its probably going to be spam anyway, and I just don't answer them anyway and just wait for a message.Though, I just wonder if forwarded calls count against your minutes? Maybe Google Voice can set this up for people without a decent smartphone?

don't like it, but can't help it (1)

sohmc (595388) | about 2 years ago | (#37555364)

With more people using their cell phones primarily and people cutting the landline, you know this was coming.

It was nice while it lasted. At least now, everyone can screen their calls.

A part of the law should be the ability for customers to block unknown numbers automatically.

Re:don't like it, but can't help it (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | about 2 years ago | (#37555528)

CORRECTION: You know this was coming in the US.

Re:don't like it, but can't help it (1)

dwillden (521345) | about 2 years ago | (#37555704)

Actually I think it should be illegal to hide or obfuscate any phone number when making a call. If you want to call me, your phone had better show me an accurate number,

If this is true, I wouldn't mind this law (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#37555404)

Businesses increasingly rely on advanced communications technologies to convey timely and important information to consumers. These calls notify consumers about threats such as data breaches and fraud alerts, provide timely notice of flight and service appointment cancellations and drug recalls, and protect consumers against the adverse consequences of failure to make timely payments on an account.

If this is true, and this is the intended purpose of this law, and if it still keeps the telemarketers out, then I wouldn't oppose this change. Then again, I've never been in debt (I am quite poor, but I never go into debt as a matter of principle) so I don't know about the collectors, but since it isn't a problem for me I am not concerned.

Re:If this is true, I wouldn't mind this law (1)

Asmodae (1155077) | about 2 years ago | (#37555652)

It typically isn't a problem with YOUR dept, it is when some nimrod reports your phone number as their own and has dept. You can then spend months/years trying to convince the retards calling your phone day-in and day-out that you actually own the number and you aren't the debtor they're looking for and you can't help them find the person. After I moved a few years ago our new land-line had one of these numbers (probably recycled), and after about 18 months of that crap and repeatedly telling the collectors the facts, we finally got fed up and just cancelled the thing and went cell-only.

So in the end it really isn't about your debt and whether you're responsible or not, it's about the people that are screwing it up for everyone and the collectors just not giving a damn.

Considering all the collectors who call me (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#37555434)

are either trying to reach someone who had my number, pulled it out of thin air when getting credit, or because of my sister, this is the last thing that I want. I use a prepay cell phone (I am a stickler for costs) and unless we adopt a callers pays method of billing with cell phones all I can see is a world of hurt coming out of this.

No, go the other way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555446)

It should go the other way. Robocalls should be banned to any phone.

Here's a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555466)

Don't answer the call.

The current law is already too weak (5, Interesting)

Dr_Ish (639005) | about 2 years ago | (#37555476)

Although the idea behind the *Telephone Consumer Protection Act*, as it is currently, is reasonable, in practice, it does little good. I started to get robo-calls some time ago on my land line from 'Tax Resolution Services'. The number has been on the national do not call register for ages. J. K. Harris and Company [jkharris.com] were particularly aggressive. Although I told them to put me on their do not call list, asked for a written copy of their do not call policy and did all the right things, they did not stop. Fortunately, I documented it all. Eventually, I took them to Small Claims Court, under the right to private action provision of the *Telephone Consumer Protection Act*. I won the case, along with $1,000 damages, court costs and legal interest. That was several months ago. To date, I have not received a penny. They do not respond to e-mails, certified letters, or telephone calls. I cannot go after their assets, as they seem to rent everything and own nothing. It turns out their head of legal services is only a paralegal, not a lawyer, so I cannot even pursue her for failing to live up to the professional standards of South Carolina Bar Association. So, scumbag telemarketers already have ways of getting around the law. Making life even easier for them would thus be a very bad idea.

Re:The current law is already too weak (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | about 2 years ago | (#37555562)

Motherfuckers.

Re:The current law is already too weak (3, Funny)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 2 years ago | (#37555738)

You should set up a robodialer to call them until they respond.

Re:The current law is already too weak (2)

dex22 (239643) | about 2 years ago | (#37555754)

They must have a corporate bank account you can seize the funds from it. Always think of your judgment as a long term investment that attracts typically 12% APR depending on State, and which you can pursue for as long as you wish.

Oh joy. (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#37555508)

Since I don't get enough spam calls as it is. Thanks Congress.

Thank you Mr. Terry (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 2 years ago | (#37555512)

Thank you Mr. Terry for being the acme of your fine party and branch of legislature.

Seriously, have the orbital cannons come online yet?

Google Voice (5, Insightful)

Captain_Loser (601474) | about 2 years ago | (#37555564)

I have found the the "beta" spam feature of google voice does a good job of filtering out crap calls. Also, every cell phone that I have used for the past 10 years has had caller ID. I just don't answer calls that I don't recognize. If it's important, they'll leave a voicemail.

PERMIT?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555580)

They're gonna PERMIT it??
This already happens, daily!

The Republic no longer functions.

Can google voice block these? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555586)

what about using google voice to block unknown callers can it do that yet? My understanding is that it can't, it only kinda sort can and they don't seem to intend to implement it, in fact it used to do this before they purchased it from the original company?

Skynet called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555602)

...asking for Sarah Connor. I think it had the wrong number.

Bad summary as usual, I don't see it (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 2 years ago | (#37555628)

I don't see anything in the bill to object to. Telephone soliciting is still prohibited, and if a debt collector is after you I think you have other things to worry about.

In fact, the only scenario I can see as a real problem is when debt collectors rack up charges robo-calling you. Just take every charge off the amount you owe until it's a wash. Or actually pick up the phone and figure out how to deal with your debt, and inform them that you are being charged, and you do not have a prior business relationship as defined in the Communications Act and this is a mobile phone.

Anyone have a better summary?

Looks like "Ignore" will get a bunch of new number (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#37555636)

Personally, I find robocalls to be the most obnoxious thing someone can do. Whenever I get a robocall that gives me the opportunity to actually talk to an individual, I will always give whatever response will get that person to talk to me. My favorite are the one's that ask you to leave your name and number if you would like someone to call you. I always give a fictitious name and my real number (not cellphone). Then when they call back, I tell them that that person just stepped out and should be back in 15 minutes. The second time, they just went to lunch and should be back in 30 minutes. The third time (and I have only gotten this far once), I say the person has left for the day, please try tomorrow.

my landline just became more useful (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | about 2 years ago | (#37555654)

This is exactly why I've kept my landline despite the fact I almost never use it. I keep it around to give to banks and others who need a phone number from me so I don't have to give them my cell number. No way I want telemarketers calling my cell.

Google Voice FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555664)

Between Google Voice and Cyanogenmod's blacklisting abilities, robodialers will still get "this number is not in service." Suck it, outbound call centers!

This bill prohibits telemarketing to cellphones... (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | about 2 years ago | (#37555674)

I just looked at the bill. It says

‘‘(iv) to any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service, specialized mobile radio service, or other radio
  common carrier service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call, unless the call is made for a commer
cial purpose that does not constitute a telephone solicitation;’’.

The problem is that the current law is not enforced. Just in the past few days I got multiple machine dialed calls from someone trying to sell me a Home Security system. Not only was it my cellphone, but the cell number is on the Do Not Call list.

Thank Nebraska (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 2 years ago | (#37555678)

This was introduced by the Republican Congressman from Nebraska. Are people in that state not caring if they get autodialers hitting their cell phones all day?

[sigh] Just more evidence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37555692)

Just more evidence that Congress does not have the good of the Common People in mind.
Would any regular citizen really want this? Probably not (or very few).
Thanks Congress!

If I don't recognize the caller ID, I don't answer (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#37555698)

If I don't recognize the caller ID, I don't answer. It really is that simple. Most of these things won't go to voicemail. If they start doing that, there will be more countermeasures.

Hey, how about providing services that we want or need? How about providing them in a friendly and courteous manor, like the local coffee shop? They get more of my money than I want to count. A certain major telecom that telemarketed me back in the 90s? I'm *still* reluctant to ever use their service.

Bipartisanship! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#37555734)

Sponsor Lee Terry (R) and co-sponsor Edolphus Towns (D).

Well, fuck me. Finally something both parties can agree on: screwing the US public.

We ALWAYS paid... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#37555746)

"now they get to make you pay for their calls to you"

Well, even in the days of landlines, we always paid. Yes, we PAID for our service.

But it was flat-rate for incoming calls.

I've got an unlimited voice plan now, so I can take time to waste these calls and eventually get dropped from the list. But not everyone does I know.

Just remember, landlines always were paying for incoming calls, just not by the minute. Apparently towers are more precious than cables.

Darth Vader says... (1)

ScooterComputer (10306) | about 2 years ago | (#37555752)

NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo!

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