//Robocalls & Telemarketing

Robocalls & Telemarketing


Federal Deception Law

Federal Deception Law

Covers key federal standards preventing marketplace deception and federal and parallel state remedies for violations. Special chapter on the TCPA.

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Stop Unwanted Robocalls!

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Robocalls compromise privacy and public safety, undermine the federal Lifeline telecommunications program by using up low-income consumers’ limited minutes, and subject vulnerable consumers to harassing and intrusive telemarketing and debt collection tactics. NCLC works to defend and strengthen consumer laws, particularly the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to protect consumers from abusive and illegal practices.

State-by-State Robocall Data (2019)

The problem is worse than it seems. Click the map and hover over your state to see just how many robocalls were made to your friends and neighbors last year (total appears below the map). Many of these calls were made illegally, to cell phones without consent.

Source: YouMail, Robocall Index (2020)

Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have taken aim at scam and spoofed (disguised number) calls but have given less attention to much-needed consumer protections from some of the largest banks’, telemarketers’, and debt collectors’ robocalls. Data shows that large banks and credit card companies consistently rank among the top sources of robocalls. Legitimate businesses making illegal calls to cell phones without consent has led to 2018 being the worst year on record for robocalls.

Companies appearing more than once made outbound calls from multiple numbers. Source: YouMail, Robocall Index (2019)





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Policy Analysis

Policy Briefs, Reports & Press Releases

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Comments and Testimony

  • Consumer Groups Comments Urging the FCC to adopt Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls (CG Docket No. 17-59) and Call Authentication Trust Anchor (WC Docket No. 17-97), July 24, 2019
  • Group comments to the FCC opposing the petition filed by the P2P Alliance seeking an exemption from the TCPA, July 11, 2019.
  • Testimony of NCLC Attorney Margot Saunders before the U.S. House on Legislating to Stop the Onslaught of Annoying Robocalls, April 30, 2019; Press Release
  • Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation regarding Illegal Robocalls: Calling All To Stop The Scourge, April 11, 2019; Press Release
  • Group comments opposing NorthStar Alarm Services, LLC’s Petition to the FCC for Expedited Declaratory Ruling under the TCPA, March 15, 2019
  • Group comments to the FCC Opposing the Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed by SGS North America re: Telemarketing Robocalls, Jan. 24, 2019

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  • Amicus brief of the National Consumer Law Center, Verizon, and Consumer Federation of America to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting neither party in Barr v American Association of Political Consultants, Inc., et al, March 2, 2020; Press release
  • Amicus brief in Salcedo v. Hanna in support of plaintiff-appellee’s petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, Sept. 25, 2019
  • Amicus brief in Evans v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit) arguing that the definition of automated telephone dialing systems (ATDS) under the TCPA should include devices that are able to store numbers and redial them automatically, April 1, 2019
  • Amicus brief in Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC. (Federal District Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit) arguing that a robocalling telemarketer should not be permitted to evade the consumer protections of the TCPA by inserting a useless dialing agent in the middle of the process, January 24, 2019