One of the main points of contention for the FTC commissioners was robocalling. Commissioner Rosenworcel explicitly called out the practice in her prepared comments during the FCC’s June hearing on the TCPA:
“I detest robocalls. I’m not alone. Year-in and year-out, Telephone Consumer Protection Act complaints are the largest single category of complaints that consumers lodge with us here at the Commission. We receive thousands of complaints a month about robocalls. Our friends across town at the Federal Trade Commission receive tens of thousands more—at one point receiving nearly 200,000 in a single month.”
As part of its commitment to consumer protection, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will host a Robocall and Caller ID Spoofing Workshop on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, at FCC Headquarters, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC.
Per the FCC’s press release: “The workshop will continue the Commission’s recent work helping consumers fight unwanted robocalls by examining the current state of robocall-blocking solutions, steps industry is taking to protect consumers from unwanted robocalls, and potential solutions to caller ID spoofing. The workshop will be an all-day event with panelists representing service providers, developers of call-blocking solutions, consumer groups, and others.”
The workshop will be streamed live on the Commission’s website, for persons interested in participating via the Internet. The full agenda will be available in the coming weeks.
What’s a little frustrating for the collection industry is this: collection agencies don’t robocall. So, again, a law that was never really meant to affect the ARM industry is having a considerable affect on the ARM industry.
This is not an issue of collection agencies opposing consumer protections. Just the opposite, in fact. Consumers who owe debt but take steps to limit or cease communications with a collection agency are actually not doing what’s best for their financial well-being.
This focus of the FCC’s on robocalling is good, but it has the possibility of ultimately negatively affecting consumers in the long run.