Collector- June 2018 - 18
What is ACA Doing to
Fix the Call Blocking and
Since the issue first surfaced in 2017,
ACA has developed a multi-faceted
Educating Members | ACA issued several Member
Alert emails, held sessions on call blocking/labeling
at association conferences, and launched a dedicated
email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for ACA members to direct their questions.
Collecting Member Experiences | ACA launched a
portal on its homepage for members to report any call
blocking experiences. This feedback has been shared
with regulators to demonstrate the impact these
tools are having on legitimate businesses.
Working with Regulators | ACA continues to be in
contact with the FTC and FCC about these issues.
In addition, ACA has been an active contributor in
the FCC's robocall proceedings by filing formal
comments to the commission explaining how
legitimate businesses and consumers are being
harmed by the current framework, which lacks
any effective mitigation mechanism.
Engaging with Analytics Companies | Analytics
companies use algorithms to determine whether
to block or how to label a call, and ACA is in
communication with them to stop legitimate calls
from being blocked/mislabeled and to ensure there
is a way to correct mistakes.
Participating in an Industry Coalition | ACA is
working with the newly formed Communication
Protection Coalition to develop best practices
surrounding robocall blocking and other solutions.
As it turned out, these sites were just the
tip of the iceberg. Synder and Engle are two
of the many members who have notified
ACA over the last year that they have been
negatively impacted by call labeling and
blocking tools-from third-party websites
and apps as well as those from the telecom
Given the critical importance of
effective two-way communication to
the debt collection process, this has
become a serious issue that threatens the
fundamental ability of debt collectors to
communicate with consumers to share
important account information and
resolve outstanding debt. ACA believes
that the unintended negative effects of
robocall processing tools will only get
worse without intervention.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
The numbers are pretty incredible: U.S.
consumers received 30.5 billion robocalls
in 2017-an all-time high, according to the
telecommunication company YouMail. This
breaks down to almost 1,000 calls placed
every second, which in turn generated 4.5
million consumer complaints to the Federal
Trade Commission last year.
Of course, the robocalls tracked are a
mixed bag: illegal scams and harassing
telemarketing efforts alongside legitimate
business calls consumers want and even
request. These include not just debt
collection calls, but also school closing
announcements, product recall notifications
and reminders to pick up your prescription
at the drugstore.
The enormous quantity of robocalls
makes them challenging to analyze and
dissect, and effective solutions to stop
illegal operators require coordination
between the government, private industry
The FTC tells consumers who get
unwanted calls to hang up immediately and
file complaints with the FTC and National
Do Not Call Registry. It's also prevailed
upon telecom providers and software
developers to help stop the deluge, resulting
in the rise of hundreds of third-party