October 25, 2023
FCC Seeks to Remove 20 Companies From Robocall Mitigation Database
Consumers are still upset about robocalls and other illegitimate phone calls. They may still receive endless Medicare calls, Camp LeJeune compensation messages, and warranty offers. Many citizens have installed call-blocking apps on their phones. Others simply refuse to answer any call with an unknown caller ID. As a result, legitimate businesses suffer due to continued efforts by scammers.
In fact, consumers’ top complaint to the FCC concerns unwanted calls. Despite enhanced enforcement, evolving regulations, and advanced technology, robocalls continue to plague and defraud consumers. As a result, the FCC decided to send a strong message. It recently announced action against 20 non-compliant companies, threatening to remove them from the Robocall Mitigation Database if no corrective action was taken by October 30, 2023. Removal from the database will cause many of these companies to fail. This step should frighten other non-compliant companies into following current guidelines.
FCC Will Block Call Traffic From 20 Companies
The FCC will block call traffic from these companies beginning October 30, 2023, if they do not provide a letter showing why they should stay on the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database.
To stay compliant, voice providers must implement robocall prevention plans in line with STIR/SHAKEN legislation or, if they cannot meet the FCC standard, explain what they are doing to prevent robocalls. Most responsible companies have no issue fulfilling these expectations. They are required to verify calls appearing to come from a certain number actually originate from that number. In other words, they must take action to stop spoofed calls.
Some companies simply failed to follow these clear rules. The 20 companies facing FCC action have not submitted “satisfactory filings,” instead often sending items like promotional materials, blank pages, printer test pages, and company logos as robocall mitigation plans. The FCC was not amused and warned these companies of serious consequences for their behavior.
What is the Robocall Mitigation Database?
Removal from the Robocall Mitigation Database is one of these serious consequences imposed by the FCC. Established in 2021, the RMD consists of companies that are in compliance with STIR/SHAKEN regulations. The FCC requires telecommunication companies to block all calls from companies not on the RMD.
That’s why the commission’s latest action cannot be ignored by companies hoping to survive. Those companies booted from the database will have their calls blocked, causing them to face serious financial and reputational fallout. Staying on the RMD is essential for voice service providers.
Results From the Enforcement Bureau
The FCC has already had success in reducing unwanted calls. For instance, they’ve seen a 99% dropin auto warranty scams after targeting those robocalls. In addition, they have achieved the following:
- An 88% month-to-month drop in student loan scam robocalls
- Stopped predatory mortgage robocalls that targeted homeowners throughout the U.S.
- Closed gateways used by international robocallers
- Enforced FCC robocall mitigation requirements with voice service providers
- Established regulations to stop scam text messaging
- Implemented STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards
Sadly, these efforts have not been enough to stem the tide of scam calls. That is why the FCC is strengthening its enforcement practices.
Providers Previously Removed From RMD
The 20 companies targeted by the FCC should take its threat seriously. The commission has already issued warnings to some major companies regarding RMD non-compliance. They include:
Warned after missing a 2021 deadline for reaching compliance, Global UC continued to ignore STIR/SHAKEN regulations. The FCC determined the company was not doing enough to protect consumers against scam robocalls and was removed from the database. Other carriers were forced to stop accepting the company’s call traffic, shutting down their call sales efforts temporarily. However, they have since achieved STIR/SHAKEN compliance and have been re-added to the database.
One Eye LLC
The FCC removed One Eye LLC from the RMD after the company ignored multiple warnings about its illegitimate practices. The company allowed robocall traffic including a scam that impersonated a major financial institution and calls about fake pre-authorized orders. This FCC action all but destroyed the company, but did much to protect consumers.
Robocalls Still Pose a Significant Problem
Despite effective enforcement efforts, robocalls still pose a significant problem for consumers. In December 2022, U.S. consumers received 4.3 billion robocalls and over 50.3 for the entire year. These figures show only a slight drop from 2021 totals despite heightened enforcement efforts. When one scammer is stopped, another pops up, making it extremely difficult to stop these unwanted calls.
The FCC and those in the industry must remain vigilant and continually improve their methods. The FCC should see success from its strategy of dropping non-compliant companies from the Robocall Mitigation Database, while individual companies can help by strictly following federal, state, and industry regulations.
Your own company can help fight consumer distrust by maintaining superior call hygiene processes, including providing ongoing agent training, using clean calling lists, and implementing negative flag/label mitigation practices. The robocall battle still rages on.