The U.S. Federal Communications Commission had made it easier for phone companies to block “robocalls.”
U.S. regulators on Thursday voted to allow phone companies to block unwanted “robocalls” by default as Americans grapple with billions of deceptive and annoying calls every year.
The FCC also voted to allow carriers to let companies block any calls not on a consumer’s contact list if the customer opts in. Apple Inc announced this week its revised iPhone operating software will give consumers the ability to allow only calls to ring from numbers in contacts, mail, and messages and send all others to voicemail automatically.
AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Sprint Corp and T-Mobile all have praised the proposal. Verizon said Thursday with the new FCC rules “we’ll be able to provide our customers the benefits of spam alerts and blocking more broadly and conveniently.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai noted that some opponents of the proposal were flooding consumers with calls. “My message to them is simple: The FCC will stand with American consumers, not with those who are badgering them with unwanted robocalls,” Pai said. Pai added that carriers “must include a mechanism for allowing legitimate callers to register a complaint and for having that complaint resolved” if they believe the calls are being blocked.