Attorney General Gary King Urges Congress to Protect Cell Phone Consumers from Robocalls

Attorney General Gary King is urging Congress to give a thumbs down to federal legislation that would allow telephonic junk mail to be sent to cell phones, at consumers’ expense.

Attorney General King joins 54 state and territorial Attorneys General asking federal lawmakers to reject the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 [H.R. 3035]. The measure would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and allow debt collectors and other businesses to send automated “robocalls” to consumers on their cell phones. Additionally, House Resolution 3035 would preempt state laws regulating junk faxes, unsolicited text messages, Do Not Call registries, and automated calls. In many cases, the unsolicited calls would cause consumers to unwillingly pay for the use of their cell phone minutes.

AG King is concerned that H.R. 3035 also narrows the definition of what constitutes an illegal “automatic telephone dialing system.” The proposed definition means only “random or sequential number generators” are prohibited while “targeted” calls to individuals would be allowed.

In a letter sent to Congress AG King states, “Currently, federal law bans robocalls to cell phones unless the consumer gives prior express consent. H.R. 3035 would change the law and undermine federal and state efforts to shield consumers from a flood of solicitation, marketing, debt collection and other unwanted calls and texts to their cell phones.”