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ACA International – Legitimate Debt Collection Calls Being Mistakenly Thwarted By Robocall Blocking Efforts

Posted on: ACA International

As consumer “robocall” complaints continue to escalate, regulators have turned their focus to technological solutions to stop illegal calls from reaching consumers.  After being given the green light by the Federal Communications Commission, carriers and other providers have begun offering consumers various robocall blocking tools.  Although well-intentioned, legitimate businesses, including debt collectors, are discovering their calls are showing up on consumer phones as “suspected scam” or are even being blocked outright.

What ACA Members Need to Know
The misclassification of legitimate business calls as scam and the blocking of such calls is a serious issue that threatens the fundamental ability of debt collectors to communicate with consumers to share important account information.  ACA is committed to finding a way to put an end to the unintended consequences of “robocall blocking,” which has the potential to be devastating to individual businesses and to the industry as a whole.

First, ACA urges its members to be aware that this problem exists and to be on alert for potential impacts on your contact rates.  If you discover your calls are being blocked or mislabeled, consider reaching out directly to your provider about the issue.

Second, the Federal Trade Commission has begun publishing its consumer robocall complaint information on a daily basis.  You can check to see if your phone number(s) are appearing on the FTC’s complaint data here.  The Federal Communications Commission also publishes robocall complaints, although on a less frequent basis.  The FCC’s complaint data can be accessed here.  Although being on one or both of these lists is not necessarily an indicator that your calls are being blocked or improperly labeled, it will be helpful to understand the pervasiveness of legitimate numbers appearing on these lists.

Finally, in an effort to understand the current impact of mistakenly blocked and labeled calls on ACA members and to effectively use this information in our advocacy efforts, ACA urges you to please share with us your experience related to robocall blocking and/or the mislabeling of your legitimate business calls as scam.  If you have discovered that you have already been affected by these robocall blocking tools, please share this information with ACA by clicking the link to their site here.

A button has also been added to ACA’s homepage so that in the event members discover they have been impacted by call blocking and labeling tools, they can easily share this information with ACA going forward.

In the meantime, ACA has been engaged in various outreach activity and is actively collaborating with other industry actors in an effort to develop a solution to this harmful problem.  ACA will be attending a “Communication Protection Coalition” meeting on September 20 in Washington D.C. and will continue to keep members updated on this important advocacy priority.

Call Blocking Advisory Form Link

For questions related to ACA’s robocall blocking advocacy efforts, please contact callblocking@acainternational.org.