• Apr 25, 2006
According to the Washington Post, debt collectors are lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to again use automated dialers to contact mobile phones of debtors. Previously, collectors could use such technology but were banned back in 2003 as part of the FCC’s crackdown on telemarketers. Debt collectors argue they should not be under the same restrictions since their calls are not random, but rather targeted at debtors. Currently, collectors must dial cell numbers manually. The FCC has stated it will review the request.

Cell phones as driving distractions have been discussed here, here, and here. What’s your feeling about the collectors' claims? Would there be an impact if the FCC grants their request, or is this a non-issue? If granted, would it open the door for telemarketers and the ilk? (Answering the phone in the fast lane only to find a bill collector or telemarketer is recipe for road rage if we've ever heard one).

[Source: Washington Post via textually.org via Engadget]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Autodialers should be banned anyway. All they do is piss people off because you answer the phone and no one is there.

      If the collector wants to call you, let them dial the phone, just like we have to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've gotten calls while in very hectic traffic for a bill that was 7 days late. They started off by putting ME on hold! Needless to say i was furious - and after a few choice words from me, the nearly unintelligible foreign guy at the other end of the line said, and i quote, 'you can't talk like that to me'. (says who?) in any case, that didn't help the situation and after a few more words, i hung up. I paid off that bill as soon as I could, and I will never do business with that company again. If this had been something that was a month or so late, i could understand that - but 7 days? and it wasn't just one call saying hey, we didn't get it yet, we're just checking to see if it got lost in the mail... no, this was repeated calls, every single day, if not more often, even if i told them i was sending a double payment at the end of the week.

      however, does this ban help? since it's only auto-dialers, not the calls themselves, this is really a question of productivity for the debt collectors - allowing the dialers would allow them to cut a couple operators, since they would be more productive if they don't have to dial manually.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The cell phone is a personal device accessory, and should not be open to public access unless you give out the number. There are no listings for cell phone directories for this reason. Land line home phones are the only access for public. It should stay this way. Modern day pirates chasing down a few scofflaws should not take away our privacy as personal device owners. This will open a pandora's box of solicitation beyond the debt collectors. They'll get access to my Palm, Blackberry, On-Star and barrage me with marketing crap once this door is cracked open. Even WITH my home phone on the no-solicitation list, I get calls from the Republican Party, some dentist selling a book, Harvard Alumni fund raiser, a Florida developer, the Volunteer Fire Department fund raiser, and old friends from high school i've avoided for 10 years. Yes, people are getting rid of land lines for cell phones...to hide from these solicitors.
      • 8 Years Ago
      With the increasing number of people dropping land lines and using only a cell phone, I don't see why this isn't appropriate. These aren't random solicitations, and it only effects those who don't make their payments. The more time collectors have to spend chasing down delinquent debtors, the more it ultimately costs everyone to borrow. Besides, if you aren't making your car payments, a couple of minutes on your bill is the least of your worries.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Screw them. If they want their money they can call you in person or send you a letter. The last thing this world needs in more auto-dialers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My home answering machine is clogged with messages that machines from collections agencies have left. The machines have the wrong name/number, but getting a human to remove/reprogram these machines has been fruitless. I can't even imagine how much worse things will get when the numbers for cellphones start to be accessed by machines from collections agencies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wanted to point out that this is for auto-dialing, not 'general collection calls'. Bill collectors can already contact you via cell phone.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Considering I get a collection call every week for some guy with my name who's stiffing best buy and other stores, I say please don't let them call my cell phone. It's bad enough to have to talk to them on my landline... I don't want the calls to go unanswered, lest a bounty hunter appear at my doorstep :-P
      Bruce M.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are already enough accidents caused by motorists talking on the phone. Why should debt collectors be allowed to add to the problem and cause more wrecks, more injuries and more death? Lenders should make credit less easy to get. That would cut down on the problem and force debt collectors to get a "real job!"
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with #3.
      Many people don't have land lines, and the cell phone is often the person's main telephone line.

      Without debt collectors, credit cards will become useless, fraud/thefts will rise, companies don't get paid for their goods and services, and the company's employees don't get paid. Debt collectors and bounty hunters are necessary enforcements.
      • 8 Years Ago
      1. Pay your bills...on time. 1 day late is still late.

      2. They're called mobile/cellular phones. "Car phone" went out in the mid 90's and all of you complaining about them causing accidents must only use a cellular phone in your car while driving and NEVER any other time. That would be silly.

      3. If you can rationally deal with the company calling when there is a mistake (wrong numbers, etc.), you should be able to get things corrected. It may take some work on your end, but being an assclown does nothing for your cause. If it was easy to get rid of these people by telling them wrong number or no one by that name lives here, then no one would pay their bills.

      4. People can and do throw away letters and avoid calls on landlines from numbers they don't recognize. People tend to pick up calls on their cell phone even if they don't know who it is on the other end.

      5. When in doubt, see #1.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Never mind that debt collectors will also go after those who don't actually have debt by making up phantom balances and threatening to ruin their targets if they don't pay up.
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