Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Robo-Calls Now Illegal?

I heard the other day that robo-calls would be illegal, starting today. Sounded good to me, I hate those damn things.

Well, poking around the 'tubes today, I find my elation short lived:

Automated "robocalls" that come from companies will become illegal starting on September 1. Any company that places unsolicited or automated calls to consumers in an attempt to sell products will be violating the law and subject to a fine of up to $16,000 per call. Some exceptions apply. Banks, telephone carriers and charities are allowed to call consumers, and calls from politicians or public service announcements* will be allowed through.

Emphasis mine, with double emphasis on the politicians. Looks like robo-calls are illegal, except to the ones whose abuse of the system led to public outcry in the first place.

* PSA's are the only valid reason for a robo-call. I've gotten two at the house. One to inform me school was being dismissed early due to snow, and one to alert me that a mentally handicapped man had gone missing in my area. Both are perfectly acceptable reasons to use robo-calls.


Whitebread said...

The church at which I work received at least two, and usually three or four, robo calls a day saying that our car warranty was expiring, or that loans were available for our small business, or that a great new credit card was available to rebuild our credit.

It's almost 2:30 and we haven't received any of them today. That's a win.

I still find it disgusting that politicians opted themselves out of yet another new law.

Mikee said...

Here in Texas we have a state law, as well as the federal law, that folks on the "do not call" list don't get commercial calls. My phone is on both the federal and state lists.

Whenever I get a call from a political group or a charity, I ask them why they don't cross reference their calling lists with the "don't call" lists, as it would save them money and time by avoiding grumpy non-participating curmudgeons like me. It seems a novel idea to the caller, each and every time I say it.

Sometimes I just say in a nervous voice, "Please hold, my kitchen just caught fire." Then I leave the phone alone for a few minutes and hang it up.

Anonymous said...