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State Attorneys General Call on Phone Carriers to Offer Call-Blocking Technology to Customers

Date Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Categories:  Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases

Attorney General Matt Denn Wednesday joined 44 other state attorneys general calling on five major phone companies to offer call-blocking technology to their customers. In a joint letter to the chief executives of the carriers, the attorneys general said a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule clarification allows telecommunication service providers to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls, and confirms that federal law does not prohibit offering the services.

In the letter to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, the attorneys general stated, “Every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls. Your companies are now poised to offer your customers the help they need. We urge you to act without delay.”

Phone carriers had previously claimed they could not offer such services.

“The FCC has made it clear that phone companies can give their customers what they have been asking for – a way to stop these calls before they ever come through,” Attorney General Denn said.

Call-blocking options already exist for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service and Android cell phones, and the phone carriers should move quickly to implement and inform their consumers of these options, the letter said.

In September 2014, 39 attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, called on the FCC to allow phone companies to utilize call-blocking technologies. The FCC chairman endorsed the request in late May and the FCC voted to pass the rule clarification on June 18.

The letter to the phone companies can be found HERE.

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