On October 9, 2018 I wrote an article, I am really tired of ROBO Calls and AI. In this article I explained the nuisance of Robocalls and Neighbor Spoofing of phone numbers. I was so irritated I decided to start a letter writing campaign. I invited all of you to join me on this as I stated in the article:
If you are interested in starting a letter writing campaign about this issue and would like to piggyback on mine (e.g. use my letters and put them on your stationary) … all you have to do is tell me your name and your state of residence. I will be happy to draft the letters for you and email them to you. If you are not one of my normal readers, you will also have to leave me your email address. If you got notice of the article in your email then I have your email address … but may not have your full name.
I only had one person take me up on this. Whether or not she actually sent the letters or not, I can’t say. But I did send letters to the following people/offices: MS US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, MS US Senator Roger Wicker, MS Attorney General Jim Hood, MS Governor Phil Bryant, MS US Representative Greg Harper, MS US Representative Trent Kelly, MS US Representative Steven Palazzo, MS US Representative Bennie Thomson, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President of the United States Donald Trump.
The main letter was to POTUS with the rest getting an introductory letter and a copy of the letter sent to Donald Trump. If interested you can read my letter to the president by following this link. Letter to POTUS
In the letter I listed several things that need to be done as a start. Here is that list:
- Laws need to be improved and enforced.
- Computer programs must be developed to guard against this crime.
- Companies caught perpetrating the crime must be shut down and all assets turned over to the government and used to make the victims whole.
- Perpetrators must be sent to jail (not white-collar country club jail) and a good job for them would be to work on America’s highways and infrastructure needs while they serve their time.
- American Phone Companies must be fined heavily for allowing such nonsense to continue in the name of “Almighty Profits” to the company and shareholders.
Now I doubt that my letter has even reached the President’s desk. We all know all his mail is checked and most responded to before he even see’s it. I can’t say that for some of the other’s that got my letter.
However, in checking out various articles in the internet this morning I came across this one that discusses a notice from FCC Chairman where he is telling Phone Companies to Figure Out a Way to Stop the Damn Robocalls by Next Year or Else (to quote the headline).
The article starts out …
The United States Federal Communications Commission is calling upon the top telephone and wireless service providers to create a system to hinder the plague of illegal robocalls that is driving the majority of Americans bonkers.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote a letter Monday to the telecommunications chief executives, demanding they provide a response by November 19 on how they’re going to start fighting the problem next year, according to Reuters. The letter harkens back to Pai’s request in May that such companies create a “call authentication system,” and it calls out some companies for taking no action toward creating such a system.
You can view the entire article HERE!
My question is will this threat be enough. Here’s what I put in the letter to Mr. Trump:
Now in the video they talk about how telecommunications companies are also trying to fight this rampant problem. I personally am finding that hard to believe. If you look at the big one, AT&T, you can see that their cash position has changed dramatically over just the past few years (see below):
It appears here that since 2015 their cash and cash equivalents have grown by close to $45 Billion. Now some of this could be from normal business operations or selling of some companies … but when you look at how their net revenue has exploded – one has to wonder how much of this is coming from the increases in robo and spoofed calls (since after all these callers also have to pay a phone bill): 2014 Net Revenue = $6.442 Billion … 2017 Net Revenue = $29.450 Billion. If the perpetrators of these calls are paying phone bills to American Phone Companies … why would he American Phone Companies want to put any money toward stopping it?
So, will Mr. Pai’s threats do any good. I doubt it. Remember the Florida Company that was fined $120 Million for Bogus Vacation Calls in Florida where they had placed more than 96 million calls in the three months prior to the fine? I will repeat the numbers here:
Assume that out of 96,000,000 calls 5% of the called people answer the phone and listen to the sales pitch. That would be 4,800,000 people. Let’s go on to assume that only 1/2 of these people fall victim to the scam and invest $500 (and I have no idea what they were looking for … I’m trying to low-ball it). That means the company collected $500 x 2,400,000 = $1,200,000,000 (yea $1.2 Billion). So, if they were fined $120,000,000 … they still made out with $1,080,000,000 ($1.08 Billion). Not a bad pay day even after the fine. That is a 900% Return on Investment if the company looks at the fine as an investment or cost of doing business. And, again, how much was returned to the consumers. No mention of this in the video.
My point is … unless the FCC and the Federal Government really makes it hurt the bottom line of phone companies … all the threats in the world will do no good. To them it will simply be another cost of doing business that will be past on to you and me … the consumers.