Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mobile Phone Robo-Call Bill Killed After Outcry

Score one for consumers. The proposed legislation that would enable robo-callers to make unsolicited phone calls to cell phones was killed when its sponsors informed Congressional leaders not to advance the bill out of committee.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., (H.R. 3035) would have allowed “robo-calls” to your cell phone — even if you didn’t give a company permission to contact you at that number.

Consumer groups made a lot of noise in the hope that Congress would kill the bill. They call it a dangerous proposal that could lead to more nuisance calls.

Supporters of the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Air Transport Association, as well as groups that represent bankers, mortgage lenders, college loan programs and debt collectors.

On Wednesday, Terry and bill co-sponsor Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., sent a letter to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee asking that the legislation not be advanced.

Last week, attorneys general in 48 of the 50 states sent their own letter to Congress opposing the legislation.
This bill would have been costly to consumers as they would have incurred additional charges as a result of the unsolicited calls, and the proffered rationale for allowing such calls - to inform individuals of flight changes, drug and product recalls, etc., made little sense since consumers can already opt-in to allow the manufacturers or companies with whom they already do business to contact them via phone, email or text messages.

Good riddance to bad legislation.

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