You know the setup. You come home from work, you’re beat, you go to turn on the television, and just as you’re about to put up your feet… the phone rings.
“Congratulations! You won a free cruise to the Bahamas!”
Perhaps the news would have flooded you with excitement like a child on Christmas day had this not been the 15th time you heard it.
Robocalls are an epidemic that affects hundreds of millions of red-blooded Americans that once believed the National Do Not Call Registry could protect them.
It actually does, but we’ll get to that just a little later. Let’s talk about the good stuff.
The Consumerist says that Congress has introduced a bill that gives consumers the power to get rid of robocalls for good.
The bill, awesomely called ROBOCOP, forces providers to make the technology that identifies and blocks solicitors available to their customers. Free of charge.
It also places more responsibility on the phone providers and holds them accountable should a call squeak by.
With an estimated 900 robocalls made EVERY second, you can imagine how many people want this bill passed. Over 625,000 people signed the petition to bring this legislation to the floor.
So, with so many unwanted calls getting by, what good is it to have your number on the Do Not Call list if it’s open season on your phone?
Well, it sets you up for some sweet sweet schadenfreude in the form of litigation revenge. Hey, it’s the government so they’re turning your suffering into profit.
“To date, the FTC has sued hundreds of companies and individuals who were responsible for placing unwanted calls, and has obtained over a billion dollars in judgments against violators.”
“Those who violate the National Do Not Call Registry or place an illegal robocall can be fined up to $16,000 per call.”
In short: You get an illegal phone call, you report them to the FTC and they’ll hit them right in the wallet. So far, over 3.5 million complaints have been filed this year alone.
True, this solution doesn’t prevent you from the pain of an unwanted phone call, but you can go to bed that night dreaming of those solicitors getting handed a multi-million dollar bill.
That should tide us over until this spiffy new bill comes into play.