Businesses sponsor robocalls because they make money; we at the consumer website believe robocalls can be reduced by eliminating the financial incentive -- businesses should not be able to make a profit by making or paying for robocalls.

Similar to the Postal Organization act of 1970 which organized protections for consumers from unordered mail merchandise, an effective measure to end robocalls would be legislation stipulating that if a consumer can demonstrate that a sale was initiated by an illegal robocall, they do not have to pay. Consumers may even knowingly schedule an appointment or order a product during a robocall, receive the good or service, then dispute the charge after receiving the product or service. Credit card companies should be required to accept a recording of a robocall as proof to dispute a charge, and credit agencies should be required to accept recordings of robocalls to dispute claims of debts.

New technologies and features bundled with telephone answering machines, phones and cell phones can help facilitate the new law and supplement existing ones. Current penalties for robocalls can be difficult to enforce in part due to telephone recording laws in some states that require two-party notification before recording a phone call. A new feature for answering machines and phones could be to automatically inform callers – before the phone rings – that all calls will be recorded. This feature can be configured to record only calls from unrecognized numbers, such as phone numbers without caller ID, or from phone numbers that have never been dialed from that phone.

Furthermore, answering machines and phones can be modified to increase their recording storage, and to enable the transfer of recordings to a computer via a USB port. The FTC can promote these new features by permitting phone manufacturers to advertise their products as “Complying With FTC-Sponsored Anti-Robocall Features.” At a later date, such as 2017, any phone or answering machine without these features may be required to disclose on their packaging that they do not comply with FTC-Sponsored Anti-Robocall standards.

As consumers get these new devices and record robocalls, they can more easily prosecute current laws and penalties, and with the new proposed legislation, they can end payments to robocallers.

No more profits from robocalls means no more robocalls.

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