AT&T’s robocall-blocking expansion won’t block spam calls unless you pay extra

AT&T’s robocall-blocking expansion won’t block spam calls unless you pay extra

Enlarge / AT&T’s Call Protect and Mobile Security apps for Android. (credit: AT&T)

AT&T yesterday said it will add “automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam-call alerts” to mobile phone lines for no added cost, but the carrier still imposes limits on blocking of spam calls unless customers pay extra.

“New AT&T Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service. Millions of existing AT&T customers also will have it automatically added to their accounts over the coming months,” AT&T’s announcement said.

Despite the change, customers will still have to manually add undesired phone numbers to block lists or pay $4 a month to send all suspected spam calls to voicemail. That’s because this is little more than an expansion of AT&T’s Call Protect service, which has a basic free tier and a paid tier with automatic blocking of spam calls.

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AT&T is Adding Automatic Fraud Call Blocking to Customers Accounts

AT&T is Adding Automatic Fraud Call Blocking to Customers Accounts


AT&T announced today that they plan to add automatic fraud call blocking and suspected spam-call alerts to their customers’ accounts.

New AT&T customers will have the feature automatically added to their new accounts, while “millions” of current customers will be notified of the addition “over the coming months.” If anyone wants to add the feature right away, they can go ahead and install the AT&T Call Protect app or add the feature manually through their accounts to get the benefits.

Because of a ruling by the FCC, AT&T can now provide call-blocking tools on an opt-out basis. In other words, they have been given the go-ahead to add robocall blocking services to your account, so if you don’t want them, you’ll have to turn them off in the near future.

We aren’t typically fans of opt-out services from wireless carriers, but robocall blocking is something we all need in our … Read the rest

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Phone companies can block robocalls by default starting today, FCC says

Phone companies can block robocalls by default starting today, FCC says

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The Federal Communications Commission today voted to let phone companies block robocalls by default even when consumers have not opted in to robocall-blocking services.

The FCC said it “approved a Declaratory Ruling to affirm that voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt out of the blocking.”

Phone providers already block robocalls on an opt-in basis, sometimes charging consumers for the blocking services. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the commission’s rules were vague as to whether robocall blocking is legal on an opt-out basis but that today’s ruling will fix that problem.

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Ajit Pai’s robocall plan lets carriers charge for new call-blocking tools

Ajit Pai’s robocall plan lets carriers charge for new call-blocking tools

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is calling on carriers to block robocalls by default without waiting for consumers to opt in to call-blocking services. But he hasn’t proposed making this a requirement and is leaving it up to carriers to decide whether to charge for such services.

To encourage carriers, Pai is proposing rule changes making it clear that carriers are allowed to block calls by default. Call blocking by default isn’t explicitly outlawed by the FCC, but Pai’s announcement today said that “many voice providers have held off developing and deploying call-blocking tools by default because of uncertainty about whether these tools are legal under the FCC’s rules.”

In a call with reporters this morning, Pai said the uncertainty stems from a 2015 FCC order in which “the FCC suggested that its rules and regulations would not prohibit call-blocking services to

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