FCC's new plan will let carriers block robocalls and spam texts

Few things are more annoying to receive on your smartphone than spam texts or robocalls trying to get you to buy something. The FCC has made a move to stop both of those things from happening with the adoption of a new rule this week. The new rule gives telephone companies more power in preventing robocalls and spam texts from happening to consumers on landlines and wireless phones.

The FCC says that the new rule will give phone companies more power to stop these calls since they continue to happen despite the Do Not Call List having been created. According to the FCC, most of the complaints they receive have to do with robocalls. In 2014, it received over 215,000 complaints from consumers about robocalls.

The new rule allows the carrier or phone company to block robocalls and automated texts if requested by consumers and clarifies a consumer protection law that was published in 1991 banning telemarketers from making cold calls. The rule clearly lumps text messages into the same pot as phone calls.

Marketing companies have been able to get around the previous FCC rules using tactics like automated dialing machines, pre-recorded calls, and text messages in the past. Thanks to the new rules, the consumer can revoke their consent to receive spam messages and marketing calls more easily than they can today. The rule does exempt robocalls from health providers, pharmacies, and banks that alert customers to things like refills, appointments, or fraudulent activity.