ABA Supports Creation of ‘Challenge Mechanism’ for Erroneously Blocked Calls

In a comment letter today, ABA urged the Federal Communications Commission to create a “challenge mechanism” that banks and other businesses can use in the event their legitimate business phone calls to customers are erroneously blocked by a voice service provider. The mechanism would allow banks to report the blocking and regain prompt access to the number.

ABA’s letter came after the FCC in November authorized providers to block certain categories of calls that are highly likely to be unlawful “spoofed calls” in which the caller ID displays a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was placed, with the intent to defraud or otherwise cause harm. “Financial institutions use automated voice calls and text messages to advise customers quickly of a number of time-critical, non-telemarketing communications,” ABA wrote. “It is critical that such calls be completed without delay.”

ABA added that the availability and use of a challenge mechanism will not remove all of the barriers that currently limit a bank’s ability to engage in important communications with its customers and renewed its call for the FCC to revisit its interpretations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that impair the ability of banks to use efficient dialing technologies to contact their customers with important messages. For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.