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Efforts to stop robocalls to customers a step in the right direction

LANSING -Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel commended a move by Verizon Wireless to better protect its customers from robocalls. The move comes days after Nessel and 50 other Attorneys General entered into an agreement with 12 major telecom providers to fight illegal robocalls and one day after the same Attorneys General sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to encourage telecom providers to implement anti-robocall technologies, including default robocall blocking.

As part of its efforts, Verizon will immediately begin automatic protections for eligible Android device users through its free robocall-blocking software. Customers who use iPhone and Apple devices will be required to download the company’s Call Filter app to enroll for these free protections.

The company reports eligible customers can expect the following protections:

If they receive a call from a number that’s been reported as fraudulent, that call will be blocked by the app and forwarded to voicemail.

If a customer receives a known spam or nuisance call, they will see “Potential Spam” label instead of a name on the incoming call screen. This is essentially a warning of a potentially unwanted call, and they have the option to turn on blocking for these types of calls.

If they receive a call from a known contact, nothing changes. Their contact’s name will appear on the screen, the same as it does today.

“Protecting consumers from robocalls shouldn’t have to be an opt-in benefit, it should be an automatic service,” Nessel said. “Verizon’s swift action is a step in the right direction and I encourage the company to further its commitment by automatically enrolling ALL of its customers in this already-available technology to help further our efforts to end to this public nuisance once and for all.”

Since the beginning of this year, it is estimated that Michiganders have been on the receiving end of more than 900 million robocalls. 

(See https://robocallindex.com/history/states for statistics.)

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