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Letter: Sununu should back rules to limit robocalls


Sunday, September 16, 2018

In July, the 603 area code received a shocking 9.7 million robocalls, roughly eight calls that month for every Granite Stater, young and old. Already this year, New Hampshire phones have received 53.3 million robocalls, almost as many as the entire year in 2016. And while it may seem that the problem can’t get worse, efforts are underway in Washington to undo our most significant federal consumer protections from robocalls.

The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act limits the ability of banks, payday lenders, student loan servicers and major retailers to flood our phones with unwanted robocalls. The act, passed in 1991, restricts the use of automated dialing systems (autodialers) and requires companies to obtain our consent before autodialing our cell phones.

But D.C. lobbyists for the robocallers want the Federal Communications Commission to eviscerate the prohibition against autodialed calls and texts to cell phones without the consumer’s consent, and strip us of our right to revoke that consent to receive robocalls.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, recently signed a letter to the FCC urging strong rules to stop robocalls, but she can’t take on the robocallers alone. Granite Staters should encourage Gov. Chris Sununu to seize this opportunity for bipartisan action and join in urging the FCC to reject robocallers’ efforts to expose us to even more unwanted robocalls.

CHERYL STEINBERG

Concord

(The writer is director of the Senior Law Project at New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which helps seniors facing consumer debt collection and financial exploitation, among other issues.)