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July 23, 2015

State AGs urge cell providers to offer call blocking

Following a ruling last month by the Federal Communications Commission, Attorney General George Jepsen and 44 fellow AGs this week urged the CEOs of five major cell phone carriers to offer call-blocking service to their customers as soon as possible.

The AGs specifically want service providers to offer a way to block non-emergency autodialed, prerecorded or artificial voice calls from telemarketers, commonly known as “robocalls.”

Such calls are already illegal without consumer consent, but rule breaking is rampant, according to the AGs and the FCC, which received more than 215,000 complaints last year.

“Though our offices work diligently to prosecute those who violate state and federal laws intended to prevent such calls, our enforcement efforts alone cannot stop the problem,” the AGs letter to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and CenturyLink said. “The better solution is to stop intrusive calls before they ever reach the consumer.”

Providers had cited concerns that they might risk violating federal law if they offered call blocking.

Last year, Jepsen and 38 AGs asked the FCC to clarify the law. The agency did so on June 18, making clear that telephone companies face no legal barriers to offering the service.

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