Political robocalls OK for landlines, not for cells
I know that political organizations are exempt from the Do Not Call list, but I thought they were not allowed to use robo calls. I'm sick and tired of my voicemail getting filled up with four calls a day from, "Hi! I'm Brenda Furgatage, a family farmer from St. Paul, Oregon." Each time they call, they call from a different number — even different area codes — so it makes it hard to eliminate the calls using the call-blocking feature on my phone. How do we make this stop, or do we just have to turn off our phones until after election day?
— Dave R., Medford
Well, Dave, it depends on what kind of phone you've got. If it's on your cellphone, you may be able to file a complaint.
You're right that the Federal Communications Commission allows unsolicited political calls to landlines, but the rules are different when it comes to cellphones. According to a 2012 FCC enforcement advisory, pre-recorded voice and auto-dialed calls are allowed only for emergency notification purposes, or if the caller has express prior consent.
The burden of proving consent, the FCC says, is on the caller. Even if they have consent, the caller is still required to provide information on the message identifying the official name of the business entity and a number where you can reach them.
To file a complaint about abuse of auto-dialed messages, call the FCC at 1-888-CALLFCC or file a complaint online at www.fcc.gov/complaints.
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