ANNOYING ROBOCALLS: How Can We Stop Them?

Ombudsman Alert fully supports free enterprise, so I will not try to curb any consumer’s ability to continue receiving robocalls, even if many of them represent obvious scams…let the buyer beware!

However, many of us resent the proliferation of these calls on both our landlines and cell phones, and have, in many instances, put our phones on the “Do not call” registry by calling 1-888-382-1222.

Unfortunately, as too many of us have learned, this has not sufficiently curbed the flow of these robocalls.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as New York State have made certain efforts to identify and curb many robocallers charged with providing false and misleading information to the telephone consumers.

However, according to national surveys, the overwhelming majority of telephone consumers (both landline and wireless) would like to maintain their privacy and would prefer to block all of these robocalls.

It’s this writer’s contention that the large telephone and wireless providers who profit from the billions (yes, billions) of robocalls made each month to their captive consumers should provide, upon request from each individual customer, the option to block all of these robocalls at no expense to the customer.

Let’s now examine some of the economics of this issue:

According to Forbes’ magazine, in each of the last two months, June and July, more than our billion robocalls were made to the US telephone consumers.

Even at the relatively low rate of seven-tenths of a cent per minute collected by these telephone and wireless providers, this amounts to a monthly windfall of more than $280,000 to these companies, even if these robocalls lasted only one minute.

To add injury to insult, many of the wireless customers are actually paying out of their own pocket for these unwanted calls.

For the above reasons, Ombdusman Alert suggests to our New York State leaders, Senator David Carlucci and Assemblypersons Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski, as well as our Congresswoman Nita Lowey, that legislation be introduced both on the state and federal levels to require the telephone and wireless providers to offer a cost-free option to each of their consumers to block all roobocalls.

Please address all comments and questions to editor@rocklandcountytimes.com.