Survey Results Show the Impact of Call Blocking and Labeling Technologies

Input from the accounts receivable management industry demonstrates the continued importance of policymakers’ consideration of the need for legitimate businesses to access technology to communicate with consumers.

9/13/2018 1:00 PM

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Survey Results Show the Impact of Call Blocking and Labeling Technologies

Input from ACA International members demonstrates the impact of call blocking and labeling technologies within the accounts receivable management industry.

ACA International is continuing its advocacy efforts to encourage policymakers to develop protocols and/or a regulatory framework  that would require call blocking and labeling companies to create a system to differentiate between legal informational calls and illegal robocallers.

The misclassification of legitimate business calls as a 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. This has prompted complaints about legitimate call attempts against the industry and causes reputational harm when calls are labeled with confusing and potentially slanderous labels.

For example, in a recent survey, ACA members were asked to indicate whether their calls were being blocked or potentially mislabeled. Seventy-eight percent of respondents indicated that they were experiencing call-blocking while 74 percent reported having their calls mislabeled. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents reported that they were seeing a decrease in right-party contacts.

ACA members also report consumers tell agencies that calls are labeled as “spam” or “scam,” which creates mistrust of their legitimate reason for calling. This issue also has a huge impact because the majority of phone numbers are with cellphone providers that are blocking agencies’ calls, and consumers don’t have the ability to resolve their account until it is too late to avoid debts being reported to consumer reporting agencies.

For more findings, see ACA’s updated report accessible on the Advocacy Resource Center.

This report is a helpful tool to use when meeting with regulators and members of Congress. Visit the Advocacy Resource Center for more information and guidelines for these meetings or contact Vice President and Senior Counsel Leah Dempsey at dempsey@acainternational.org.

ACA encourages its members to report their experiences related to call blocking and call labeling on ACA’s online Call Blocking Intake Form.

FCC Continues Focus on Industry Impact of Technologies and Regulation

The FCC also continues to review the impact of call blocking and labeling technologies on legitimate businesses communicating with consumers through requests for comment.

ACA believes that through these reasonable mitigation measures, the FCC will achieve a better balance of protecting consumers from unlawful robocalls while ensuring consumers are not inadvertently losing access to important communications with legitimate businesses. Currently, the FCC is seeking comments in response to the Call Blocking NPRM and NOI to refresh the record on additional criteria voice providers could use to identify and block illegal calls. ACA plans to file comments and is currently seeking feedback from ACA members.

Additionally, the FCC is also considering adopting rules to regulate free conference calling and chatroom services.

The FCC adopted the “Updating the Intercarrier Compensation Regime to Eliminate Access Arbitrage Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” (NPRM) to eliminate financial incentives for local exchange carriers.

This could impact free conference call services and as a result ACA is following this for any impact on the industry.

Please provide feedback to Vice President and Senior Counsel of Advocacy Leah Dempsey at dempsey@acainternational.org.

Related Content from ACA International:

ACA to FCC: Open Lines of Communication for Legitimate Business Calls

ACA International Submits Comments Urging the FCC to Require Call Blocking Mitigation Mechanisms

Robocall Discussion Continues: FCC Bureau Seeks Comment for Joint Report with FTC

ACA International Submits Comments Urging the FCC to Require Call Blocking Mitigation Mechanisms

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