Are phone companies really trying to block robocalls?
You may recall this. The article I took it from is dated Jan. 1, 2020.
The bipartisan legislation expanded the power of the Federal Communications Commission to deter spam calls and reinforced the responsibility of individual phone companies to protect their own consumers.
“With this legislation, phone companies will be required to give all consumers meaningful new protections against these calls and Americans will finally get some relief from the ringing telephone,” Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst with Consumer Reports, told The Associated Press.
I for one was gleeful. Robocalls, up to 4-5/day on the landline in this house, have long been a real quality of life issue. Almost a year later, they still are, and often at pretty much the same rate.
(Live phishing from overseas call centers has diminished, to maybe one/week. You know, the ones where someone identifies himself as, say, “John Smith,” in a thick southeast Asian accent, and tells you that your computer has been compromised and they need your login data to fix it. I do recognize that for a lot of the people actually making those calls, it’s take a job like that, or live on maybe a couple of cups of rice per day. But that doesn’t make it OK.)
The news did come with a warning that robocalls wouldn’t just end. There would be back and forth, at least for a while, as robocallers adjusted their tactics to beat the blocking, and phone companies had to make their own adjustments accordingly. But if that’s what’s going on, the robocallers are consistently winning, based on my experience.
The other possibility here, which I think more of a likelihood, is that phone companies aren’t really trying very hard to block robocalls. Seriously going for it would come with a substantial cost, and that would cut into “creating shareholder value,” or whatever the greedhead euphemism du jour is, right now.
Perhaps the incoming Biden administration could see its way to looking into this.
(To be clear, I know there are all kinds of suggestions for blocking robocalls on a cellphone. Some are included in the article from which I took the featured image. I’m talking landlines. And the phone companies are still supposed to be dealing with this shit, now.)
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