American Financial Services Association

AFSA Asks FCC, “Can You Hear Us Now?”

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AFSA Asks FCC, “Can You Hear Us Now?”

This week, the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) submitted a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on its report on call blocking. AFSA wholeheartedly supports the FCC’s effort to stop illegal robocalls, which scammers and fraudsters use to prey on American citizens. The proposed efforts, however, are blocking legitimate phone calls and the FCC must take appropriate action to ensure these calls get through to consumers.

Voice service providers have been aggressive in their efforts to prevent illegal calls. Unfortunately, they are using simple identifiers, such as call volume, to determine which calls should be blocked. As a result, companies do not have a way of knowing when their calls are being blocked, and consumers are missing legitimate phone calls from businesses, such as banks and financial institutions that happen to make a high volume of calls. Financial institutions need to reach their customers to appropriately service accounts, just as consumers need to receive calls from the financial institutions in order to be reminded about payments, fraud alerts and more.

AFSA recently conducted a study examining the potential negative consequences of financial institutions’ inability to communicate effectively with customers. The study, in part, found that “reducing the number of calls could increase the number of those customers who end up 90+ days past due by nearly 70% for installment loans and over 50% for vehicle finance contracts.” This situation is avoidable.

AFSA’s letter asks the FCC to institute a notification and challenge mechanism for affected companies. To date, voice service providers have not offered any avenue by which a company can explain and justify the purpose of its calls. To this end, AFSA has joined a number of other trades to ask the FCC to require that voice-service providers provide a challenge mechanism for legitimate business and that the providers give notice to callers when a number has been blocked.”

February 28th, 2020 by