Thursday, March 30, 2017

Robocalls Disrupting a 911 Call Center – And Congress is to Blame

Don’t These People Have Any Sense of Responsibility?

The greed, avarice and indifference of those who sponsor robocalling is unlimited.  And now the report in the WSJ is that they are disrupting at least one 911 operation in Florida.

“For about two months last fall, as many as 500 robocalls flooded the 911 system in Florida’s Palm Beach County, pitching everything from dental insurance to vacation packages, said Chuck Spalding, director of technical services for the county’s 911 system.
While handling genuine emergencies, operators were also receiving those automated telemarketing calls. In one example, after the operator answered, the robocall began: “Hi, this is Heather. I’m calling from the dealer processing department regarding your vehicle’s warranty. We sent you a final notice in the mail letting you know that your warranty has expired.”

Young man in the office and answering several phones at the same time
911 -Can you hold please while we take this robo call Congress wants us to answer

Yes this is illegal, and it ought to be easy enough to stop.  Just respond to the call, learn the sponsor and throw a few butts in jail for a couple of years.  So why blame Congress for this ugly practice.

Palm Beach County, home to about 1.4 million people, fields about 100,000 911 calls a month. The robocalls were “frustrating for the call takers, especially when they’re busy,” Mr. Spalding said.
In 2012, the FCC voted to create a do-not-call registry for 911’s 10-digit numbers, so telemarketers could scrub them from their calling lists. That registry hasn’t been created, however, because Congress denied the FCC’s request for $600,000 to develop it, an FCC spokesman said.”

Oh, right.

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