By Sean King
It’s a typical Wednesday evening, and your family is sitting down for a nice dinner. Your parents had stressful days at work, and you had an important math test. Finally, you all finally have a moment to sit around the table and devour a scrumptious meal. All of a sudden, RING! The phone practically flies out of its holder. Frustrated, your mom walks over and answers it. A robotic recording on the other end chants, “Quick! You have a virus on your Windows machine. Call 1-800…” Your mother hangs up the phone, visibly frustrated after the fifth robocall just today.
Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. According to CNBC, Americans had already received 16 billion robocalls by June of this year. Despite telemarketing robocalls becoming an illegal practice in 2009, the levels seem to be increasing. According to Marketwatch.com, the number of robocalls have increased five-fold since 2009, with that number almost surely increasing in 2018.
I believe this monstrosity must end; to do so, our government is the only system with the power to stop robocalls. My family has been on the so-called “Do Not Call List” for years. However, I am constantly bombarded by these unwanted calls detailing scams and unsolicited advertisements. While the government has done some work to punish companies running these illicit scams, it is a very involved process that takes many years to execute. For example, it took the Justice Department, along with four other states, eight years to sue Dish over its administration of an estimated 66 million robocalls.
To curb these abuses of our telecommunication system, the federal government must employ a faster and harsher method of punishment to these companies. If each state is forced to sue a company on its own, it would take too long, cost too much, and create confusion over what state the offense occurred in. In addition, the “Do Not Call List” must be kept up to date and monitored closely to ensure that it is truly effective.
According to the U.S. government, Americans pay approximately 3.7 trillion dollars to the federal government each year. A portion of this money goes to the Federal Communications Commision. I demand that they better utilize the heaps of money that are required from us in taxes to sort out this debacle and make a working “Do Not Call List.” They must protect our rights and act in the interest of the citizens.
For years Americans have been haunted by unwanted robocalls at every hour of the day. While on the surface it appears the government has taken steps to end this, they truly haven’t affected change. I bet at least a few people reading this article now got that cacophonous call. If you want to end this abuse, let’s take a stand and demand action!