AFSA, Trades Write to FCC on Call Blocking
Last week, the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) joined other financial services trade associations in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the agency’s draft order on call blocking. The order provides a safe harbor for voice service providers that use call authentication information to block unwanted calls.
The associations share the FCC’s goal of eliminating illegal automated calls while ensuring that important – and often time-sensitive – calls from health care providers, financial institutions and other legitimate businesses are not mislabeled and are able to reach consumers. It is important to prevent the mislabeling of outbound calls as these calls may concern the health, safety, or financial well-being of consumers and include fraud alerts, data security breach notifications, health care and prescription reminders, and other important notices. In the event that a legitimate call is blocked or mislabeled, it is vital that there is a prompt redress mechanism to ensure that businesses can have the block removed.
In the letter, the associations suggest that the FCC should:
- Require a voice service provider to remove an erroneous block within 24 hours of the provider’s learning of the block;
- Clarify and confirm that a terminating service provider that blocks calls is prohibited from imposing a charge on callers for reporting, investigating, resolving, and, as appropriate, removing erroneous blocks promptly;
- Confirm that the obligation on terminating voice service providers to provide callers with effective redress options applies equally to mislabeled outbound calling numbers; and
- Confirm that implementing the required redress mechanism is a condition of receiving the protections of the safe harbor.
July 9th, 2020 by Dan Bucherer