Better Business Bureau talks ringless voicemails

WEST MONROE, La. - If it didn’t count as a call, then the telemarketer behind the pre-recorded voicemail message may claim it can leave “ringless voicemail” (RVM) for people even on the Do Not Call list.

 

The FCC is currently deciding if it should ban ringless voicemail or if those spammy voicemail messages don’t count as calls as companies using direct-to-voicemail insertion technology claim.

 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act protects consumers form dialers and recoreded messages. However, All About the Message, a ringless voicemail company, petitioned the FCC to “declare that the delivery of a voice message directly to a voicemail box does not constitute a call that is subject to the prohibitions on the use of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) or an artificial or prerecorded voice” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

 

The New York Times reported that All About the Message uses technology developed by Stratics Networks which claims to be the “inventors of ringless voicemail drops.”

 

  • In comments  submitted to the FCC, Margot Freeman Saunders, senior counsel at the National Consumer Law Center, pointed out that Stratics Networks advertises that it can “send out 10,000 RVMs per minute.”

 

  • If the FCC decides ringless voicemail, which is “invasive, expensive and annoying,” does not fall foul of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, then Saunders believes it will “allow telemarketing and debt collection messages to overwhelm the voicemail boxes of consumers.” And “unlike their ability to limit calls and texts, consumers have no way to limit, restrict or block unwanted voicemail messages from particular callers.”

 

 

  • Some people don’t have unlimited calling on their cellphones; instead, they pay for plans with limited minutes. If ringless voicemail is unregulated, then it could end up costing consumers who go over the time or data limit by trying to listen to the voicemails. The same could be true if you are “roaming” while trying to address a voicemail box full of spam.

 

  • Since ringless voicemail spam messages cannot be blocked and could be of any length, Saunders argued, “It is entirely possible that debt collectors using this method of communicating might hijack a consumer’s voicemail box – filling it with RVM messages – until the consumer pays the debt.”

 

 

People should submit a complaint…. anyone who receives a robocall or robotext should.

 

You can view public comments on Docket 02-278. You can submit public comments now to speak out against ringless voicemail.

 

 

Surely the few minutes it will take to comment beats the alternative of being flooded with ringless voicemail if RVM is allowed to get around consumer protections.


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