On Thursday 18 June, the FCC introduced a suite of tougher restrictions on spam marketing techniques such as “robocalling” and automated telemarketing. The move came after thousands of consumer complaints and a slew of petitions aimed at the FCC to do something about the unwanted calls.

Consumer Rights

Now, the public has the ability to control the calls that they receive with phone companies permitted to use robocall-blocking software as well. An individual can also revoke their consent to receive these automated calls with firms required to cease all phone conversations with that number afterwards. These same rights apply to SMS texts and internet-to-phone messages.

There are some exceptions to this ruling including calls or alerts to notify customers about important situations such as bank account fraud, upcoming medication refills and more. The FCC made it clear that only essential automated calling services were to remain in operation at all times.

An Outdated Strategy

Most experts hope the new rulings persuade companies to stop using these sorts of marketing tactics. Since the public now demands opt-in communication, spamming consumers and violating their personal space means that a business is effectively a decade behind with their promotional methods. With the added risk of robocalling customers caused by the FCC’s new ruling, it is hoped that firms will move towards emails and social media as a more acceptable substitute.

This type of law could also be useful in the UK, especially considering how damaging these automated phone calls can be. As well as annoying the public with spam, they result in billions of pounds of lost productivity. For instance, a call centre worker may waste several minutes taking an unwanted call and thus accidentally lose their employer money in the process. With time though, hopefully firms around the world will move to a more reputable form of marketing.