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Cell Phone Robo-call Legislation Nixed

The proposed legislation that would have allowed “robo-calling” to cell phones in the United States has been nixed. The federal bill would have enabled businesses to place robotic calls via the use of automated dialers to telephones, and then play pre-recorded messages to the new and old cell phones of consumers.

Rep Lee Terry, R-Nebraska, and Rep Ed Towns, D-New York, who had sponsored the bill, have this week asked the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s chairperson to prevent the bill from going through the committee process, thus effectively stopping it. “What we have learned is that there is no hope for this legislation,” the two wrote in the letter to the chairperson. “We have heard from our constituents. They are concerned about what they believe will happen should this legislation become law.”

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan was one of many consumer advocates who had opposed the bill, describing such robo-calls as being “a bad deal for consumers”. Madigan noted that the legislation would have “opened the floodgates” for consumers to be endlessly annoyed with robotic calls from telemarketers on their mobile phones at all hours of the day”. “I appreciate everyone who voiced their disapproval of this invasion of our privacy to Congress and stopped this bill,” Madigan said in a statement yesterday.

The bill would have changed 20 years of legislation outlawing auto-dialers and the use of artificial and recorded messages to cell phones.