If you don’t already keep your phone on silent or “do not disturb,” you might want to start. We say that because a small section in the recently-approved federal budget bill gives debt collectors the right to robocall cellphones.
As NBC News reports, the amendment allowed “The use of automated telephone equipment to call cellular telephones for the purpose of collecting debts owed to the United States government.” While debt collectors will no doubt love this news, consumers will not.
According to a CNBC study, debt collectors routinely make mistakes when contacting consumers. The report—which surveyed 50,000 consumers—found that more than 21,000 said they had been called about debt that wasn’t theirs and 10,000 had been called about debt that was already paid off. To make matters worse, this survey was conducted under the oversight of 1991′s Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which put limits on how collectors could contact consumers. The new budget amendment cast that bill’s guidelines aside.
Luckily for consumers, there is already a provision in the works to repeal that particular budget amendment. The Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls Act “will protect Americans from an onslaught of aggressive phone calls and costly cellphone charges,” said Senator Ron Wyden, in a statement. Amen to that.
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