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Congress wants to allow robocalls to cell phones

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by the_jazz, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. the_jazz

    the_jazz Accused old lady puncher

    The bill:

  2. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted


    Hi, The_Jazz
    In the USA, is it not the case that mobile phone users have to Pay to recieve calls?
  3. the_jazz

    the_jazz Accused old lady puncher

    On many plans, yes it is the case.
  4. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted

    OK :(

    Well, I'm dumbfounded. For many plans, it looks like it will just be a way to guarantee massively raised phone bills. An enforcement of unwanted cash flow, at a time when people are trying to guard their outgoings.
    And maybe a way for phone service suppliers to develop profitable 'unlimited receive-minutes' packages so peeps don't get bankkrupted by a deluge of spam that they have to pay for.

    I have strong feelings about spam to landlines ... and am glad that in the UK there is a register we can go on in order to make it illegal for the spammer to phone. However, that issue of basic privacy has had a lot of airtime elsewhere.

    This extension to mobile phones in the US ... is a different order of legislation, and it sounds plain wrong to me.
  5. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    My guess is that this is a result of cell phones becoming "regular phones" (i.e. default phones replacing land lines).
  6. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Wow. Paying to RECEIVE a call?

    I mean, I get it when I roam internationally and get charged a good amount per minute when someone calls me.

    But domestically? That shit they pull off with you Americans is unheard of in the rest of the world.
  7. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted

    Hi Remixer ... it was a couple of years ago that I heard of this. My eyes nearly popped out, I can tell you.
  8. the_jazz

    the_jazz Accused old lady puncher

    FYI, that's permanent as long as you have your number. You no longer need to re-register every few years.
  9. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    It's just so odd to me. Consider the following countries, I've personally visited in the past 3 years, that don't have such a thing:

    - Bunch of EU countries
    - UK
    - Turkey
    - Iran
    - Tajikistan
    - Uzbekistan
    - Afghanistan
    - Bunch of GCC countries (Persian Gulf)
    - India
    - China
    - Japan
    - Singapore
    - Australia
    - New Zealand

    One can only hope Canada doesn't have the same crap.

    A whole bunch of conveniences arise from a one-sided charge. When both people get metered... if one of them runs out of credit at any time, there's no possible way to call each other, especially in urgent situations.

    I remember a plethora of situations in my life where the one-sided thing was very convenient and helpful.
  10. MSD

    MSD Very Tilted

    Not only are we happy to allow ourselves to be screwed over in the name of profit, we've allowed ourselves to be convinced that this somehow equates to our being freer than the rest of the world. We also have to pay to send and receive text messages, which use dead space in regular transmissions between phones and towers.
  11. Alistair Eurotrash

    Reading, UK
    I'm continually shocked by the rip-off by telecomms companies in the USA (I visit often these days). The banks and other financial services companies are as bad. The prices paid for a phone service is astronomical.. and then you can be charged extra for "roaming" when you drive for a few hours.. unbelievable. Oh.. and let's not even get into "pay as you go" .. which, it turns out, is another contract. When my SO visits here, I use a free SIM card that I loaded £20 onto two years ago and which still has £15 left on it.

    The phone is also tied to a single supplier.. they have the thing all wrapped up and packaged (and not in favour of the poor consumer who pays through the nose for a pitiful service).

    And now, you get to pay for spam? Bleh.
  12. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    I didn't read the proposed bill, but please tell me that it at least has some provision that the cost of those "informational" calls would be free (à la text messages from your cellular provider) or charged back to the initiator.

    If not, I'm setting up a super-cheap cellular company in the US, and as soon as I hit a few thousand subscribers, I'm going out in one hellacious blaze of profit-taking auto-dialing them with a "SUCKER!!!!" message 24/7 until the end of their contract :D
  13. the_jazz

    the_jazz Accused old lady puncher

    Maybe I missed it, but that provision doesn't seem to be in there.
  14. Cayvmann

    Cayvmann Very Tilted

  15. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    It's easy enough to avoid getting charged: just don't answer. If they leave a voicemail, checking your voicemail is free.
  16. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Reading, UK
    I have Evil Verizon. Checking email is charged against my minutes. I won't answer any call if I don't recognize the number but they cost me anyway when I have to scroll through them in my voicemail to get to messages I do want. I could opt for visual voice mail and pay Evil Verizon $10.00 more a month for the privilege, but I refuse to voluntarily give those bastards anything more than they're already squeezing out of me.

    Just ranting, probably a bit off topic. I didn't read the bill yet.
  17. Willravel

    Willravel Getting Tilted

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of robocalls.
  18. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Sadly, Canada does. In fact, Canada's rates for data and mobile services is among the most expensive anywhere. It's ridiculous.
  19. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Canada's approach to critical technology infrastructure has been absolutely shameful, and we've slipped pretty far behind in both the wireless and broadband markets as a result. Things have improved a bit in recent years due to more competition being introduced into the market and a regulatory environment that is slowly but surely adopting a more consumer-friendly focus, but we still have a long way to go.

    Unlimited inbound calls are available here on specific plans with specific carriers now, but at a glance it doesn't appear that any of the big three (Bell/Rogers/Telus, who collectively own north of 90% of the telecom market in this country) are offering any such thing.

    Interestingly enough, robocalls of any sort in Canada require the express prior consent of the called party. There's no specific provision for cell phones that I'm aware of, though -- telemarketers can still call you so long as they have a warm body on the other end of the line and you're not on the DNC list.