The FCC wants to protect consumers against ringless voicemail

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,141   +154
Staff member
In a nutshell: Have you ever found a voicemail message sitting in your inbox, but don’t recall hearing your phone ring? If so, you likely received what’s known in the wireless industry as a ringless voicemail. They’re as annoying as you’d think and fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission wants to do more to protect consumers from them.

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has shared an action with colleagues that, if adopted, would require callers to obtain consumers’ consent before delivering a ringless voicemail.

“Ringless voicemail can be annoying, invasive, and can lead to fraud like other robocalls—so it should face the same consumer protection rules,” Rosenworcel said. “No one wants to wade through voicemail spam, or miss important messages because their mailbox is full.”

According to Arbeit, there are two ways ringless voicemail can happen. The first is by dialing the same number twice at the same time. When this occurs, one caller will be sent directly to voicemail and the other will be disconnected – and often times, the target’s phone never rings. Another method involves a caller dialing a carrier-provided number to gain direct access to voicemail.

Rosenworcel’s proposal would categorize ringless voicemail under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which protects consumers from unwanted robocalls.

The FCC hasn’t set a date to vote on the proposal, and even if it does pass, consumers should probably temper their expectations. There are already plenty of laws on the books and protections to shield consumers from scam calls, yet in 2021, attempts still managed to hit an all-time high. Worse yet, nearly a quarter of Americans lost money to phone scams last year, with the average loss being just over $500.

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Posts: 2,239   +1,054
Well that explains the voicemails I received recently without having missed a call, they were of course scams.

"Worse yet, nearly a quarter of Americans lost money to phone scams last year, with the average loss being just over $500."

That's a whole lot of money, not surprised this is such a big problem.


Posts: 4,151   +5,793
I have this happening once in a while but the callers are usually legitimate - the phone just doesn't ring. I get a good number of texts that don't alert me as well.


Posts: 329   +587
I would prefer not to be bothered by the ring.

And the joke would be on them because even though I have a 512GB iPhone, Verizon claims my voice mail is full after like 20 messages.


Posts: 677   +886
So, the FCC which hasn't stopped any robocalls yet, now wants the bad guys to ask permission before leaving a ringless voicemail. That will certainly happen ⁿᵉᵛᵉʳ