Stealth direct-to-voicemail robocall proposal

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by campyguy, May 24, 2017.

  1. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Portland / Seattle
    #1
    IMHO Ajit Pai and the new FCC are among the governmental entities that madden me the most. I prefer to address only what I can control in my life, and I can comment on FCC issues. I tend to browse proposals and rulings that affect me or others and act when I can, within reason. Lately, efforts have been made to cut down robocalling to a degree (I use both ATTWS and VZW) and I had read recently that more cell phone lines than landlines currently exist, with my small company using 65 cell phone lines and 2 landlines and I just cut my 79-year-old mom's landline (she's cell-only now). What I read this morning pretty much ticked me off, and that's what this post is about - take it for what it is.

    The Republican National Committee submitted Comments on 3/31/17 for the "Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991" (CPA), and - read this copied statement from their Comments Introduction carefully:
    "The Petition asks the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) to declare that the delivery of a voice message directly to a voicemail box does not constitute a call that is subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and its implementing rules. The RNC supports this clarification, which is consistent with the language of the TCPA. A contrary finding would not only restrict an important form of non-intrusive communication; it would have serious consequences for the First Amendment rights of those engaged in political communication via telephone."​

    The Petition Comments submission by the RNC: RNC Comments on AATM Petition

    I see this as a precedent for spamming/stuffing a voicemail inbox with unsolicited "robo-voicemails". I read the RNC submission and had to step away from my workstation as I was pretty angry - personally I feel that allowing this will take up my own time and for my small business I see my 50-odd employees dealing with voicemails on a regular basis. IMHO the FCC will rubber-stamp this, and we will all have direct-to-voicemail "calls" to deal with in addition to the spam dumped into our inboxes and text messages to go along with junk mail… :mad::mad::mad:

    This is the short missive of my own "brief" comments about the CPA (https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express then enter 02-278 in the Proceeding Field) - feel free to copy any of this as you see fit:
    I read the Comments by the RNC regarding this matter. I disagree that their Comments choose to qualify direct-to-voicemail communications as "non-intrusive" and that a restriction to not permit direct-to-voicemail communications as a violation of First Amendment rights. I regard unsolicited communication of this type as unwanted marketing with no opt-out option/clause, with my valuable time occupied to identify unwanted, unsolicited communications. Furthermore, with "visual voicemail", these direct-to-voicemail communications will use my limited data resources - a cost of which I am not willing to bear for unsolicited marketing that I will likely not be able to opt out of. The labeling of what the RNC calls "political speech" is not "speech" - it is automated calling that involves no human speech. As a degreed and practicing technical writer with an Oxford Dictionary at hand, I offer that automated, robotic communications by a party are in no way "speech". The RNC appears to be lobbying for a precedent for a means to take up my time, cost me money and reduce my spare time, and provide no opt-out means while serving their own selfish goals. As a small business owner with employees in the field I officially protest that many of them will need to address/deal with "spam" when they need to address life/safety issues every day. Thank you for your time and consideration."
    /rant
     
  2. campyguy thread starter macrumors 68040

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  3. DearthnVader macrumors 6502

    DearthnVader

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    #3
    Good, last thing I want is adds in a voicemail service I pay for to keep in contact with the people I want to be in contact with.
     
  4. Gutwrench, Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017

    Gutwrench Suspended

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #4
    Hmmm. I have not even heard of the the direct to vm service before today.

    I agree I do not want my vm stuffed but after reading the RNC's petition it does make sense that it doesn't seem to be a "call".

    I didn't understand why a delivery charge would restrict or harm political speech. The product exists today doesn't it? The change would be if the FCC considers it not to be a call and then not charged.

    I like the argument that it might present a problem if it results in visual vm charges. I don't see an ATT charge, but I see they limit vvm to 40 messages.

    I'm not convinced you'd suddenly feel any impact if the FCC approves the change but I think we will all feel the impact as this service gains popularity.

    I'd like to see the service providers block direct to vm service free of charge. But of course they'll charge a fee to do it.


     
  5. campyguy thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    Likely, we'll never know what led to the withdrawal of the proposal. Personally, I would wager a dollar that this FCC fine has something to do with the withdrawal:
    Man Accused Of Making Millions Of Robocalls Faces Biggest-Ever FCC Fine
    FWIW, the masked, same area code calls that I've been receiving have pretty much disappeared immediately since that fine was levied (I've got 60-odd cell phone lines for my employees and myself).

    Agreed, however, as a small business owner with a GV number, two iPhones, and two SkypeOut numbers the garbage can stack up pretty quickly every day. I've taken to picking up a new cell phone number that I give only to my clients and beg them to not add it to any of their contact lists; one used Yahoo! and all of her contact's numbers were plastered all over the web by the end of the week.

    The larger issue that I have, and I've seen others align on the perspective that the additional messages take time to peruse. Abramovich's "business model" was emulated by others, and I'm hoping that the FCC fine gets upheld and the ba$tard ends up broke. I'd rather have fun with my friends or work hard instead of get voicemail call after call about cruises that don't exist. Cheers.
     
  6. Gutwrench Suspended

    Gutwrench

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    Jan 2, 2011
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #7
    Now if something could be done with the spam e-mails flooding my work inbox....
     

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