Cellphone users can block robocalls

Consumers have a right under a federal law to revoke their consent to being contacted on their cell phones by automated dialing systems, a U.S. appeals court decided on Thursday in a defeat for computer maker Dell Inc.

Reversing a lower court ruling, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania woman, Ashley Gager, who complained that Dell hounded her with more than 40 calls in less than three weeks to collect a delinquent debt after she had sent a letter asking it to stop.

Circuit Judge Jane Roth said Congress intended the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 to protect consumers from unwanted automated calls, a conclusion supported by a 2012 Federal Communications Commission ruling in an unrelated case…

According to court papers, Gager had in 2007 filled in her cellphone number in place of her home number on an application for a Dell credit line, which the Honesdale, Pennsylvania resident used to buy thousands of dollars of computer equipment.

After Gager defaulted, Dell began leaving the automated messages, and continued doing so even after receiving a letter in December 2010 from Gager asking it to stop, the papers show…

“Dell will still be able to telephone Gager about her delinquent account,” Roth said. “The only limitation imposed by the TCPA is that Dell will not be able to use an automated dialing system to do so.”

Robocalls are useful to warn of collective emergencies. That’s it. Everything that remains is audible spam or harassment. Generally from some cheap-ass company trying to keep from paying even minimum wage to part-time workers.

One more facet of the decline in privacy in the Land where Liberty is defined by profit structures.

One comment

  1. Johnny5

    “In September, 39 state attorneys general requested that the Federal Communications Commission look into whether telephone carriers can use existing technology to filter telemarketing and robocalls on behalf of consumers. The commission is asking the public to comment on this issue; the comment period is open until Jan. 23.” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/27/your-money/a-year-of-shortcuts-the-fight-against-robocalls-gains-ground.html Nomorobo {link} is a free service that uses a simultaneous ringing feature available on most phone systems. Once a consumer signs up on nomorobo.com, the system answers calls that appear to be from telemarketers and then hangs up before the home or office phone picks up. It is only for landlines, not cellphones.

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