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Robocalls

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BUSINESS
May 6, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
Recorded, unsolicited robocalls from telemarketers are not only annoying, but also illegal in the vast majority of cases. But several types of robocalls are permitted under California's Public Utilities Code. They include: •Schools: Messages to parents or guardians concerning attendance. •Safety: Law enforcement, fire protection and health agencies can make robocalls to tell the public about current or threatened emergencies. •Danger: Petroleum, chemical and nuclear plants can use robocalls to warn residents of potentially life-threatening situations.
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BUSINESS
August 23, 2013 | By Paresh Dave, This story has been updated. See the note below for details.
Consumers frustrated by robo-calls and customer service calls to their cellphones have a potential way out. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled this week that people can opt out of unsolicited cellphone calls if companies are using auto-dialers to make them, regardless of any prior consent or business relationship between the parties. The decision  came from a case involving Ashley Gager, a Pennsylvania woman who had financed a Dell Inc. computer purchase through  Dell Financial Services.
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BUSINESS
November 1, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
“Rachel from Cardholder Services” may not be calling you anymore. A federal court order Thursday morning temporarily halted operations at five telemarketing firms that the Federal Trade Commission said illegally dialed up consumers with millions of prerecorded messages - often saying they were from "Rachel. " “Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy No. 1,” FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. The FTC receives 200,000 complaints a month about robocalls.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2013 | David Lazarus
Dan Yeh has been on the federal government's Do Not Call Registry for years. And for a while, it seemed like the leave-me-alone system worked just fine. Not anymore. "There's been a real surge recently," Yeh, 72, told me. "I've been getting five or six calls a day, at all hours, seven days a week. " The Huntington Beach resident isn't alone. I've heard similar complaints from dozens of other people. Regardless of having registered a phone line with the Federal Trade Commission as a telemarketer-free zone, a growing number of consumers are saying that some businesses are ignoring their stated preference and calling anyway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2009 | Jack Leonard
Los Angeles County prosecutors have launched a grand jury probe into who was behind a barrage of recorded phone messages they believe were aimed at undermining voter support for the incumbent during last year's campaign for district attorney. The investigation has raised allegations that a dirty-tricks campaign targeted Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley in the final days before he won a historic third term.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
The government's latest line of defense against robocalls? You. The Federal Trade Commission is offering what's essentially a $50,000 bounty to slay telephonic spam once and for all. The contest is the FTC's latest attempt to stem a skyrocketing number of robocalls, which too often ring through when dinner's on the table. In July, the agency announced that complaints about automated calls had soared to 212,000 last April, compared with 65,000 in October 2010. [For the record, 5:23 p.m. Oct. 19: An earlier version of this post said the FTC announced that complaints about automated calls more than tripled from 65,000 in 2010 to 212,000 in 2012.
NATIONAL
March 25, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The National Rifle Assn. is taking heat from a U.S. senator after accusations that the organization robocalled Newtown, Conn., residents and urged them to oppose gun-control legislation. Stricter gun laws have been proposed in legislatures all over the country in the wake of the Newtown massacre in December, with New York and Colorado leading the way with restrictive new laws. Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and the NRA has been phoning residents in the state to oppose further changes -- "their most recent repugnant tactic," as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.)
BUSINESS
August 28, 2009 | Sherine El Madany
Many of those annoying prerecorded telemarketing calls will be history starting Sept. 1. The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it is banning these "robocalls" to consumers, unless the telemarketer has written permission from a customer that he or she wants to receive these calls. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says American consumers have made it "crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year."
BUSINESS
December 14, 2008 | David Colker
You have a new weapon against telemarketers. The Federal Trade Commission is now requiring prerecorded telemarketing calls, also known as robocalls, from businesses or charities to include ways to opt out of future calls. You're already supposed to be protected from unsolicited commercial calls if you're on the national Do Not Call registry, but calls from charities and businesses with which you have a relationship are permitted. Under the new rules, a prerecorded message has to give the consumer a way to cut off the business or charity call -- and ban future calls from the same source -- by pressing a number or saying a word.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2013 | David Lazarus
Dan Yeh has been on the federal government's Do Not Call Registry for years. And for a while, it seemed like the leave-me-alone system worked just fine. Not anymore. "There's been a real surge recently," Yeh, 72, told me. "I've been getting five or six calls a day, at all hours, seven days a week. " The Huntington Beach resident isn't alone. I've heard similar complaints from dozens of other people. Regardless of having registered a phone line with the Federal Trade Commission as a telemarketer-free zone, a growing number of consumers are saying that some businesses are ignoring their stated preference and calling anyway.
OPINION
March 31, 2013
Re "To FCC: Ban cell 'cram' billing," Column, March 29 David Lazarus' article on the evils of cellphone cramming delineates the financial problems and conflicts of interests involved in having the receiving party pay for unauthorized charges. His solution of blocking individual or all third-party text messages misses the simplest solution: The sender should be charged for wanted, unwanted and unsolicited calls, texts, robocalls, advertising calls and wrong numbers, not only in money and time but in many cases the use of limited plan minutes.
NATIONAL
March 25, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
The National Rifle Assn. is taking heat from a U.S. senator after accusations that the organization robocalled Newtown, Conn., residents and urged them to oppose gun-control legislation. Stricter gun laws have been proposed in legislatures all over the country in the wake of the Newtown massacre in December, with New York and Colorado leading the way with restrictive new laws. Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and the NRA has been phoning residents in the state to oppose further changes -- "their most recent repugnant tactic," as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.)
NEWS
November 6, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
Arizonans will soon see the end of a U.S. Senate race that's recently tightened between Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake and his Democratic opponent, Richard Carmona, who is seeking to become the state's first Latino senator. Carmona's campaign recently complained about Flake campaign robocalls that gave some Democratic voters incorrect information about their polling places. FULL COVERAGE: Election 2012
BUSINESS
November 1, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
“Rachel from Cardholder Services” may not be calling you anymore. A federal court order Thursday morning temporarily halted operations at five telemarketing firms that the Federal Trade Commission said illegally dialed up consumers with millions of prerecorded messages - often saying they were from "Rachel. " “Rachel from Cardholder Services is public enemy No. 1,” FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. The FTC receives 200,000 complaints a month about robocalls.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
The government's latest line of defense against robocalls? You. The Federal Trade Commission is offering what's essentially a $50,000 bounty to slay telephonic spam once and for all. The contest is the FTC's latest attempt to stem a skyrocketing number of robocalls, which too often ring through when dinner's on the table. In July, the agency announced that complaints about automated calls had soared to 212,000 last April, compared with 65,000 in October 2010. [For the record, 5:23 p.m. Oct. 19: An earlier version of this post said the FTC announced that complaints about automated calls more than tripled from 65,000 in 2010 to 212,000 in 2012.
OPINION
September 30, 2012
Re "Do-not-call list or feel-free-to-call list?," Column, Sept. 28 We have had an ongoing problem with robo-calls and the like even after signing up for the do-not-call list. After calls to the Federal Trade Commission and enduring mindless sales rants, we got smart and added caller ID to our phone. The results are terrific. We let the phone ring and tell us who is calling, then we decide whether to answer. For numbers we don't know, we let the answering machine kick in. Robo-calls immediately disconnect.
NEWS
November 6, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
Arizonans will soon see the end of a U.S. Senate race that's recently tightened between Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake and his Democratic opponent, Richard Carmona, who is seeking to become the state's first Latino senator. Carmona's campaign recently complained about Flake campaign robocalls that gave some Democratic voters incorrect information about their polling places. FULL COVERAGE: Election 2012
OPINION
March 31, 2013
Re "To FCC: Ban cell 'cram' billing," Column, March 29 David Lazarus' article on the evils of cellphone cramming delineates the financial problems and conflicts of interests involved in having the receiving party pay for unauthorized charges. His solution of blocking individual or all third-party text messages misses the simplest solution: The sender should be charged for wanted, unwanted and unsolicited calls, texts, robocalls, advertising calls and wrong numbers, not only in money and time but in many cases the use of limited plan minutes.
NEWS
June 5, 2012 | By Morgan Little, This post has been updated
As Wisconsin residents decide today whether Gov. Scott Walker keeps his job, reports have surfaced of automated calls instructing voters who signed the recall petition that they don't need to cast a vote to oust the controversial governor. Numerous voters said they received a “robo-call” telling them “if you signed the recall petition, your job is done and you don't need to vote on Tuesday.” Challenger Tom Barrett's campaign has been swift to respond to the claims of misleading information being disseminated by an unidentified group.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
Recorded, unsolicited robocalls from telemarketers are not only annoying, but also illegal in the vast majority of cases. But several types of robocalls are permitted under California's Public Utilities Code. They include: •Schools: Messages to parents or guardians concerning attendance. •Safety: Law enforcement, fire protection and health agencies can make robocalls to tell the public about current or threatened emergencies. •Danger: Petroleum, chemical and nuclear plants can use robocalls to warn residents of potentially life-threatening situations.
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