Everyone loves spam phone calls, right? Right?! Well, if the Republican National Committee (RNC) have their way, It would be totally cool for spammers to make ringless robocalls, sending recorded messages straight to your cell phone voicemail. Except, it isn’t actually cool at all.
Telemarketing calls are heavily regulated. Companies are required to follow the rules of do not call (DNC) lists, and can’t place calls after 9 PM. The thing about ringless calls is that marketers feel they do not fall under those rules, because your cell phone never actually rings.
So, the RNC is asking the FCC to not apply the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to ringless voicemail. Partially, because they want to use this system themselves. They contend that since there’s no call, no charge, no ring… no problem?
One group petitioning against ringless voicemails is the National Consumer Law Center:
…these voicemail messages are just as invasive, expensive, and annoying as calls and texts to cell phones. Granting the petitioner’s request would allow telemarketing and debt collection messages to overwhelm the voicemail boxes of consumers. Unlike their ability to limit calls and texts, consumers have no way to limit, restrict or block unwanted voicemail messages from particular callers. These messages appear to be delivered using technology that is identical to that used for texts, so there is no technological or legal reason for them not to be covered by the same rules under the TCPA.
There is nothing inherently evil about advertising. Every company and organization on the planet must advertise in one form or another to stay in business. However, when marketing is conducted in such an overtly annoying and intrusive way, a line must be drawn. The TCPA is one of those lines, but the RNC and other marketing firms want to exploit this possible loophole.
Do you think ringless robocalls are acceptable? Or, would you rather not get recorded messages dropped directly into your voicemail? Let us know in the comments, geeks!