Skip to main content

FCC wants phone companies to block annoying robo calls for free


You know those annoying, automated phone calls that come in at all hours of the day? Sometimes the scams say you "won" an island getaway, sometimes they flat out ask for credit card information to "check your credit score."

A federal communications leader is urging phone companies to start blocking those calls for free.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote in a blog Friday that he's been reaching out to phone companies and carriers to stop those calls from going through.

The FCC already requires private robocallers to have consent to robocall or text your cell phone. People can also register their numbers on a Do Not Call list to stop telemarketers.

But that hasn't fixed everything.

In fact, Wheeler says most complaints the FCC gets involve robocalls and telemarking. Reuters says the federal group gets hundreds of thousands of those complaints every year.

That's why Wheeler reached out to companies.

The letter explained that the FCC doesn't have any rules preventing companies from offering call blocking services, the Consumerist reports.

Wheeler also asked them to "respond within 30 days with their concrete, actionable solutions to address these issues."

Granted, there's no actual requirement that these companies do this. It's just "strongly encouraged."

One concern of phone companies is that a roboblocker would prevent some important calls from going through, according to the Consumerist.

The FCC's letter states that's why companies should get customers' permission before blocking any calls.

According to the Robocall Index, one in six phone calls is a robocall of sorts – that counts all automated prerecorded calls ranging from appointment reminders to credit card scams.

More than 80 million scam calls are made every month in the U.S. And the source says those calls racked up $8.6 billion last year from consumers and businesses.

Next Up

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.


Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,