Federal government denies petition to allow direct-to-voicemail calls

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP)- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently ruled to continue to restrict robocalls.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear opposed a recent petition by All About the Message LLC to exempt these direct-to-voicemail calls from federal consumer protections.

Beshear joined attorneys general from Massachusetts and New York in early June to urge the FCC to crack down on the national onslaught of robocall messages and oppose ringless robocalls. The attorneys general contended that the exemption would have further opened the floodgates to more harassing calls and messages.

The petition was denied by the FCC in late June.

Beshear said the decision is good news for Kentuckians.

“It’s a win for everyone who hates robocalls, which is all of us,” Beshear said. “My ongoing priority is to fight against costly, annoying and unwanted calls.”

The FCC’s Robocall Strike Force reported that robocalls are the number one source of complaints they receive, with consumers receiving an estimated 2.4 billion robocalls per month in 2016.

The attorneys general sent a letter which highlighted that ringless robocalls prevent consumers from blocking unwanted messages with many of the latest call blocking apps for mobile phones.

“Robocalls can impose significant costs on consumers, especially those with prepaid cell phones or limited minutes who are charged for checking messages,” Beshear said.

The FCC provides a National Do Not Call Registry where users can register their phone and report any unwanted calls.