•   about 8 years ago

A software or hardware based solution may not be possible.

What if there is no software that can detect and distinguish between legal and illegal calls flawlessly?. I have a solution but it does not qualify because it is legislative. I am currently appealing.

The solution

The language of the current laws forbidding or limiting robo-calling are amended as follows:” In addition to the fines and penalties stated herein, all illegal robo-calls offering products or services will be considered a free offer of said products or services in their entirety. Robo-call recipients may accept any product or service offered during a robo-call. The recipient of a robo-call can gather the details as to who is making the offer and where the transaction is to be consummated in acceptance of the offer. Recipients of such calls are then entitled to take the information to small claims court and request that the judge grant them the product or service that was offered and agreed upon free of charge by way of the illegal nature of the unsolicited phone call. The court can also impose a court fee on the offender based on a small percentage of the value of the product or service, and can then forward the complaint to the FTC for further legal enforcement of the law’s fines and penalties.

The results

After an awareness campaign that informs the public of the law’s changes and implications, the following will occur:
A company that currently does 10,000 robo-calls a week, in the hopes of getting 1 customer, will instead get up to 10,000 customers. But, all will be seeking the product or service for free in court, and the court, in addition to awarding the freebees, will also be forwarding the complaints to the proper authorities while benefiting from the additional subsidies of court fees.

Offenders will quickly cease the practice of illegal robo-calling.

  • 7 comments

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Such Regulations would definitely
    - Increase reporting of robocalls
    - bring down the number of illegal robocalls
    - Overload courts

    May someone can convince regulators and judges to get such a system going. I would like to have a simple procedure where a simple tape recording with time and date of a robocall would be enough to prove it.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Robocallers are pretty good at hiding. I believe they often do factoring of their sales, meaning, they take a 50% cut and give it over to someone else to charge out (The discount is so great since the risk of having their merchant account frozen is so high). If they charge out through their own merchant account, Visa/Mastercard/Discover would shut them down.

    Farming out transactions makes it even harder to track down. I addition, if they use offshore accounts/shell companies, the money may be untouchable.

    In addition, most of the scamming robocallers are rather shady. They would probably sell your identity in addition to stealing your money, which would not be worth any benefit obtained in small claims court.

    Majority of robocalls based on my data are fraudulent services. Health insurance, car insurance and "Lower your Interest Rate" scams, not tangible products.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Your analysis is quite insightful. I regard robocalls that are scams of theft and identity is a separate problem. I don't think this challenge is addressing the problems of theft.

    This challenge is addressing the problem of companies that are selling real products or services and are resorting to robo-calling, which although illegal, is still occurring at rates that remain a nuisance, probably due to enforcement difficulties. Such business' can not hide because they must expose themselves in order to fullfill orders.

    If a solution does away with robo-calls being done by legitamate companies, then it will be apparant to all that every robo-call will be of the criminal nature. That will have the effect of addressing a certain amount of the criminal stuff by nature of exposure and public awareness, but that is not the main focus, In my opinion.

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    If you listen to the robocall video, part 2, the speakers talk about "Rachel from Card Holder Services" as being a scam/fraudulent. They also mention selling bogus/worthless auto warranties.

    In cases where a tangible product is sold, its relatively simple to trace that product (through the postal service or from the manufacture).

    Maybe on Monday a moderator can specify if the primary focus is fraudulent services or telemarketers selling tangible products that are shipped in the mail?

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    During this election period i have received probably a hundred robocalls {legal) I hated every one of these. I want the option of stoppin g ANY robocall even emergency{if there is such a thing} because it will be on all news reports. I believe the mass number of people would buy this product. I have a very simple solution to do this also eliminating all {survey?} calls or sales calls but i need help into producing my product

  •   •   almost 8 years ago

    Ron,

    Although I agree with you about how robocalls are generally annoying, the political backlash from trying to block certain calls would be hard to overcome. (This is somewhat evident in the scoring criteria. First question deals with how the system would only block illegal robocalls)

    In addition, there are other implications in banning all robocalls. For example, the medical field has turned to robocalls for appointment reminders (The automated reminder call that requires you to press 1 to confirm you appointment). Some tech companies such as google utilize robotic dialers to confirm email accounts and changes to your account (multi-factor authentication).

    Robocall aren't just spam, they are, from my understanding, any call that originates from a computer that delivers a pre-recorded or personalized message.

    To note, there are consumer products that claim to block robocalls. In order to stop illegal robocalls, i believe a telco side solution is necessary. A consumer product, even if its free and sponsored by the FTC, would most likely have a low adoption rate and could easily suffer from fragmentation as competing products/services entered the market.

    But that's just my personal opinion.

  • Manager   •   almost 8 years ago

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for writing. The focus is on all unwanted telephone marketing calls.

    Best,
    Marny

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