FCC approves blocking of robocalls, robotexts


AGs to call on major phone carriers to act quickly to offer technology to consumers

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller thanked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today for responding to the calls of state attorneys general and members of the public to allow phone carriers to block robocalls and robotexts before they reach residential landlines or cell phones.

At its commission meeting today, the FCC approved changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including recognizing call-blocking filters as legally allowable if requested by customers, and other updates to help reduce unwanted robocalls, scam text messages and telemarketing calls. More information about the updates can be found here.

Zoeller has been urging the commission to pass these rule changes, specifically the proposal to allow call-blocking, since last September. Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster voiced their support for these long-awaited rule changes in a letter submitted to the FCC on Tuesday, ahead of the commission’s scheduled vote today.

The next step, Zoeller said, is to urge phone carriers to offer the service to their customers. Zoeller and Koster will lead a group of attorneys general in a letter to the four major phone carriers – Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile – informing them of this rule change and encouraging them to offer robocall blocking to their customers as soon as possible.

“Today’s ruling by the FCC is the first step in a return of the privacy that Hoosiers expect, and we will hopefully see an impact soon in an appreciable reduction in the unwanted calls and texts many people are bombarded with on a daily basis,” Zoeller said. “But we have to be sure the benefits of call-blocking technology actually reach consumers, and that responsibility lies with the phone carriers.”

In the lead up to the FCC’s vote today, Zoeller has been asking Hoosiers to contact the FCC about unwanted calls and urge support of call-blocking. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office received more than 13,000 complaints about unwanted calls last year, a majority of which were about robocalls.

Indiana has been a leading state in protecting consumers’ telephone privacy rights. Alongside Missouri, Indiana has hosted No Call Summits for the last two years to focus on efforts to reduce unwanted calls and prosecute violators.

Indiana residents can sign up for the state’s Do Not Call list or file a complaint about an unwanted call or text by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or calling 1.888.834.9969.