Consumers Union tackles telemarketers

Ticked off by telemarketers? Ranting about robocalls? Well, as you may know, the FCC has recently said telephone companies can screen out spammers, telemarketers, and robocallers. Previously, phone companies have claimed doing so would be illegal.

Now Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, has started a petition demanding the phone companies stop the harassment of their paying customers. If you’re interested, you can sign the petition at It reads simply:

To: Phone Company CEOs
I demand that you provide free tools to block unwanted robocalls before they reach my phone.

There’s more information on the website about steps you can take, and you’re probably aware of most of them. But the petition is new. There’s still no legal enforcement that I can see, but maybe Consumers Union has enough clout to apply some real pressure. I, for one, am sick and tired of being abused in my own home by anonymous people/computers using my own phone (that I’m paying for) against me. I can block most of them now, but only after their first call has gotten through.


6 thoughts on “Consumers Union tackles telemarketers

  1. In my opinion, the only real answer is to require (by programmatic means, not human intervention) that caller ID information is both accurate and transmitted to the person being called. We can already block callers who provide a caller ID, but we can’t block callers from a hidden ID.

    No amount of legaleeze or political bull $%* is going to deter unscrupulous marketers from using every technological dodge to get around some unenforceable “rule.”

    1. I agree. And I doubt it will happen. The phone companies won’t spend money to implement something like that. Besides, I understand a lot of the miscreants pay the phone companies to let their calls go through.

      I see all kinds of goofy IDs, including my own. But at least now, with a newer home phone, I can block unfamiliar numbers. The list will only take 250 numbers. Don’t know then if I’ll have to manually delete or if phone will just start overwriting the oldest numbers (I hope).

      Haven’t had much trouble with my cell phone yet, because I don’t use it much or give out the number. But there are several call blocker apps available for cell phones that seem to work well.

  2. My telemarketer rate has gone down to two or three a month lately. I’m not sure why. I was afraid it might be a problem when Mollie and I recently cut the wire and switched to two cell phones. I kept our land line phone number for my iPhone, not thinking about telemarketers, but it’s not a problem so far. The number for my cell still appears in phone directories and I don’t know how to eliminate that, especially since there are several companies still printing them. Probably buried in the fine print somewhere.

    1. Robodialers will find your number(s) sooner or later, since they just run through all possible number combinations. Even if you pay to get your numbers unpublished, unlisted, etc., the old ones are already in circulation and the new ones will be found by the robodialers. There are some good apps available for cell phones to block unwanted calls (and text messages), and you can add your blocked calls to a huge crowd-sourced list of spammer/telemarketer numbers which seems very effective. I use one called Call Control. Don’t use my cell phone much for calls though. Still use landline, now with phone that will block up to 250 numbers, which has brought a lot of relief. But I expect a deluge when the political campaigns really fire up. And I got 3 just this week from some Cancer Survivors group before I even started chemo. (You’d think they’d at least wait till I’m officially a “survivor” wouldn’t you?)

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