AG Zoeller, Indiana residents ask FCC to allow blocking of robocalls


Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller submitted his comments to the FCC supporting the agency’s proposal to update federal telephone privacy rules and allow broader use of call-blocking technology. He was joined in his comments by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

“Every day, my office hears complaints from Hoosiers about unwanted calls, texts and robocalls,” Zoeller said. “These calls are an invasion of privacy, a waste of time and money, and are often scams. We need the FCC to get the message loud and clear – people are sick of unwanted calls and want action now.”

The FCC is scheduled to vote on updates to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act Thursday, June 18. If approved, the rules will help stop robocalls, scam text messages and telemarking calls to peoples’ phones. The fact sheet detailing the proposal can be found here:

Zoeller said one of the key provisions in the proposed rule changes would allow phone carriers to implement call-blocking technologies at their customers’ request to screen robocalls and robotexts before they reach residential landlines or cell phones. This technology has existed for some time, but has been largely unavailable to consumers, the attorneys general note in their letter.

Unwanted calls and texts are the most common complaint received by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, with more than 13,000 residents filing complaints in 2014. Within the last year, nearly 7,500 Indiana residents complained to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office specifically about illegal robocalls.

Zoeller has been urging Indiana residents to file comments with the FCC in support of these rule changes, and many have done so. Comments on the proposed rule changes can be submitted here by entering proceeding number 02-278.

“Please vote to allow the phone companies the power to block robocalls before they get to my phone. I receive several every day and I’m on the No Call list,” said one Indiana resident in his comments.

Zoeller and Koster have been leaders in telephone privacy. They have held No Call Summits for the last two years to focus on reducing unwanted calls and led a working group of attorneys general in making  policy recommendations to uphold telephone privacy – including the updates the FCC is now considering.

“Despite our ongoing focus on this issue, the calls are still coming, often originating across state lines or overseas. We need to use every tool in the toolbox, at the state and federal levels, to fix this problem and protect consumers,” the attorneys general said in their letter.

Indiana residents who receive an unwanted call or text can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting or calling 1.888.834.9969. In 2014, the AG’s Office took legal action against 11 Do Not Call or robocall violators, and obtained judgments and settlements totaling more than $6 million.