Philip Brandes • almost 10 years ago
Forget about end-user technology on land lines unless it is free. People will not buy some little box that hooks up to your phone or computer that prevents these calls. Been there, done that without success (remember the Telezapper?).
There may be some potential on the mobile front -- since they are quickly replacing land lines anyway -- with a mobile app that allows a network of people to "tag" unwanted calls; numbers with enough "tags" are blocked by the app (similar to an ISP's junk email filter). Yes, these telemarketers buy tons of cheap VOIP DIDs (numbers) and some don't even send a caller ID. But even VOIP terminates at a point here in the US and the source of that call can be traced back to a VOIP hosting provider.
Which brings me to the my point: While I applaud the FTC for crowd sourcing a solution, they ALREADY have the ability to prevent this. This isn't a technology play at all. Thousands of people contact the FTC daily to complain about robocalls. But what is really being done on their end? Do they slap the offenders on the wrist or fine them? Whatever they are doing, it obviously isn't working. So here's an idea: take away their merchant processing.
100% of these unwanted robocalls are financially motivated. That is the common thread and their Achilles heel. They all want money from you (just like SPAM). It's easy for a company making millions to endure an FTC fine, go bankrupt and start up again, or find ways around calling people. On the other hand, it is difficult in this day and age to secure merchant processing over and over again. At the end of every robocall is a company with a merchant account. And at the end of every merchant account is a bank with the passport or driver's license of the owner of that company. The FTC needs to work with the credit card issuers so that if they get enough complaints from us, they terminate that company's processing.Sure they have backup accounts, but eventually those will be terminated as well. Without processing, those companies are dead in the water. Thoughts?
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