Voicemail from Telemarketers? Say It Isn’t So!

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It’s finally happened! Telemarketing firms have already invaded mobile phones with robo-calls, but now they’ve taken things one step further – your voicemail. Now telemarketers have latched on to ringless or direct-to-voicemail technology. Through this technology, invented in 1997 by VoiceLogic – a Toronto-based company, recorded messages can be delivered directly to your smartphone without a single ring.

By now, I’m sure you see where this is going. According to ConsumerReports.org, there are over 150,000 complaints each month to the FTC and FCC about robo-calls in general. If telemarketing companies are allowed to pursue this new marketing tactic, complaints will most likely skyrocket.

Proponents of this technology argue that there should be no restrictions on ringless voicemail because there is no actual call involved. This would allow companies to skirt the Do Not Call registry (DNC) and the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. The Consumerist reported that three Attorneys General have already filed comments with the FCC arguing that this is still a robo-call and should be subject to the same restrictions. The concern is that consumer voicemails will be deluged with robo-call messages. Consumers would have even less control over who could contact them, since direct-to-voicemail also bypasses most call blocking technologies. Finally, a waiver against the DNC and TCPA restrictions would create more fertile ground for scammers to push recorded messages to consumers.

So what can you do? Read more….

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.