Let Joe Know: Robo calls mean it’s campaign season - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

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Let Joe Know: Robo calls mean it’s campaign season

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Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 7:45 am

There’s no doubt it’s politics time in the Valley. The signs are on street corners. Candidates messages are coming to phones across the Valley.

And I don’t like it. I’ve seen the ads, done my research, and know my candidate. Getting these robo or automated phone calls at all hours is just annoying.

And I’m not alone.

Virginia sent me an email saying, “I’m being bombarded with political robo calls, 50 of them in the last week. Several times there are over 10 in one day. I know the political calls are allowed within reason. Isn’t that harassment or illegal? Can us, the consumers, do something about these calls?”

Virginia, you hit the nail on the head.

Even the Do Not Call list allows political robo calls. But, and this is good, those calls are only allowed if sent to land lines. If you get one on your cell phone, well, you’ve got yourself some ammunition!

The law says pre-recorded voice messages, texts and even auto-dialed live calls to cell phones are prohibited. There are two exceptions — emergencies and calls made with prior consent. And the caller has to prove that consent. The Federal Communications Commission takes it seriously. They just fined one business nearly $3 million for allegedly making illegal calls to cell phones for political campaigns and candidates.

And, even though the robo calls are allowed on your land line, rules say they can’t go to emergency lines, lines in hospital patient rooms or nursing homes.

So, you say, Joe, that’s fine. But what if I get a call from a live person trying to sway my vote?

Well, it’s allowed.

It’s also the reason I have voice mail.

• Joe Ducey is helping people like you everyday on ABC15 News at 6 p.m. If you’ve got a consumer issue you can’t solve, “Let Joe Know.” Contact him at joe@abc15.com or (855) 323-1515.

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