Postings

Credit unions must follow robocall/text consent laws
When a national credit union association asked for an exemption to gaining consent of credit union customers before sending unsolicited texts and robocalls, consumer advocates cried foul, asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny the exemption request.

Caller ID authentication provides protection against illegal and unwanted calls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acknowledges that consumers get an unacceptably high volume of calls that can annoy or defraud. One particularly disturbing category is spoofed robocalls where the caller ID is a fake, hiding the caller's true identity. Consumer advocates applaud the FCC’s rollout of proposed new rules that aim to stop spoof calls and believe implementing caller ID authentication will aid the agency's attempt to curb robocall scams.

Consumer groups call on House to oppose pyramid scheme promotion amendment
A broad coalition of consumer advocacy organizations is calling on the House of Representatives to oppose efforts to weaken the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to protect consumers from fraudulent pyramid schemes. An amendment offered by Congressman John Moolenaar (R-MI) was added to the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which would eliminate long-standing requirements that direct selling companies establish a viable retail business instead of relying on a churning base of new recruits.

The FCC could do more to block pesky robocalls
Consumers received 2.4 billion in unwanted telemarketing and robocalls calls in 2016. It’s the biggest consumer gripe filed with the FCC, which receives 200,000 complaints annually about them. The FCC’s new rules allows providers to block calls coming from invalid numbers, unallocated numbers, and numbers whose owners have requested they be blocked. But advocates urge the FCC to do more to reduce the scam calls.

What’s more annoying than robocalls? We could soon find out.
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission opposing its proposal to allow private companies and political organizations to send automated messages into consumers’ voicemail inboxes without causing the cellphones themselves to ring. The proposal would move “ringless voicemail” robocalling technology from a regulatory gray area to legal fair game, opening the floodgates for telemarketers and political organizations to inundate Americans’ voicemails with messages hawking products, services, and candidates for office.

Unnecessary FCC rule continues to threaten consumers’ privacy
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging the Federal Communications Commission to repeal a rule that requires phone companies to retain the detailed call records of their customers, saying it’s unnecessary and threatens consumer privacy. The rule, known as the data retention mandate, is unduly burdensome and ineffectual and poses a threat to American consumers’ privacy and security.

Consumers have a right to their day in court
Forced arbitration clauses are agreements that large corporations often hide in the fine print of contracts that Americans sign every day. These clauses have big consequences: By restricting access to the court system, these clauses prevent consumers who have been wronged from seeking meaningful legal recourse. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a new rule that will prohibit financial services companies and big businesses from including provisions in their fine-print agreements that prevent class-action lawsuits. It's a good start toward unraveling the growing stranglehold that forced arbitration has on consumer rights.

Bringing Lifeline into the Digital Age
The federal low-income assistance program for affordable voice service, Lifeline, is on the verge of a “reboot” to provide affordable broadband service to bring it into the 21st Century. Modernizing the program is essential for thousands of low-income households that may fall further behind without access. Lifeline is a federally funded program that helps low-income households afford essential communication service and it is the last of the four Universal Service Programs to move to broadband access.

Consumer advocates come out against forced arbitration clauses
Following a report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) showing that tens of millions of Americans have clauses in their credit card, checking account, student loan and wireless phone contracts that take away their rights to sue those companies in a court of law, Consumer Action joined over 100 advocates in urging the CFPB to address the use of forced arbitration clauses by prohibiting their use in consumer-held contracts.

Consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice privacy for safety
In comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Consumer Action and other privacy advocates urged the Commission to to ensure that any data collected to respond to “E911” calls carries strong privacy protections.

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