• March 3, 2015

200,000 Consumers Sign Petition Against Robocalls

Just one week after Consumers Union launched a campaign to help consumers stop unwanted and illegal robocalls, more than 200,000 Americans have already signed a petition calling on the top phone companies to offer free call-blocking tools.

"Americans are fed up with being harassed by robocalls, and they are demanding relief," said Christina Tetreault, staff attorney for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, in a statement. "Our campaign is just getting started, but hundreds of thousands have already joined the fight. The phone companies need to start listening and provide their customers with effective tools to block unwanted robocalls."

Consumers Union's campaign is mobilizing consumers across the country to demand that Verizon, Century Link, and AT&T allow them to use call-blocking technologies to stop unwanted robocalls.

Robocalls are unsolicited pre-recorded or live phone calls made using a computerized auto-dialer. Americans have registered more than 217 million phone numbers on the Federal Trade Commission's “Do Not Call” list, yet robocalls are rampant. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission received 3 million complaints from the public about unwanted robocalls.

Technology is already available to stop robocalls before they reach a consumer's landline, but few have access to these tools because the phone companies have resisted making them widely available in the U.S., according to Tetreault.

"Telephone companies have huge technology departments and pin their whole brands around being so innovative," she said. "They could lean in and solve this problem that affects millions of their customers if they really wanted."

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