November 13, 2019

Efforts to eliminate robocalls focus of NAFCU, FCC meeting

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger  with FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

NAFCU met with FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly Tuesday to discuss ongoing efforts to eliminate illegal robocalls and to implement the new caller identification framework known as SHAKEN/STIR. NAFCU has actively worked with the FCC on efforts to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for more than three years, and will continue to work to ensure credit unions can contact their members regarding important, time-sensitive information, without fear of frivolous litigation.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger attended the meeting alongside NAFCU Executive Vice President and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev, and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Mahlet Makonnen.

Earlier this year, 51 attorneys general and 12 of the largest telephone companies in the U.S. signed a pledge to combat illegal robocalls by implementing the SHAKEN/STIR call-blocking technology at no cost to consumers. NAFCU had previously joined with several other trade groups to recommend that the FCC direct voice service providers to notify callers and consumers of blocked calls and remove erroneous blocks expeditiously in order to receive safe harbor protection.    

In the letter, the trades also shared support of the "Commission's goal to eliminate illegal automated calls" and urged that the SHAKEN/STIR framework "be designed to ensure that important, and often time-sensitive, calls that Association members place to their customers are not blocked."

There are efforts currently underway in the House and Senate to combat illegal robocalls. NAFCU continues to share its concerns on SHAKEN/STIR framework and the need for clarity under the TCPA to ensure credit unions can continue to contact their members without erroneous blocking of their calls. 

The association has previously shared concerns that credit unions' calls to members could be erroneously blocked if the ruling was implemented without changes with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s staff.  In response, the FCC added language that allows legitimate callers to file complaints with the providers for mistakenly blocked calls.