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Ringless Voicemail: The Latest Telemarketing Tech Terror


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)is meant to stop creditors, telemarketers, advertising firms, and basically anyone else from spamming your phone at all hours of the day. It has specific inclusions to limit automatic dialing systems, “robo-callers,” auto-generated text messages, and much more. For the most part, the TCPA does its job in deterring would be spammers from using up all your data.

But telemarketers are notorious for being sneaky, as you probably know firsthand. To sidestep TCPA regulations on calling too often and leaving deceptive voicemails, some telemarketers have adopted a new piece of technology: ringless voicemail.

The tech works pretty much as it is described. Your phone never rings yet you get a new voicemail in your inbox all the same. Most of the time, you won’t even have any notification that a call is inbound, as in your smartphone’s screen won’t light up. Ringless voicemail can also skirt your call history, leaving no trace of the contact at all, other than the voicemail message is subtly snuck in.

If you click on one of these ringless voicemail messages, then don’t be surprised to find it is more of the same nonsense you would hear if your phone had rung to alert you of the call. You might get a message from a creditor saying you owe them money, despite you never having heard of their company. Or, the ringless voicemail could try to scare you into thinking “local cops” are driving around your town with a warrant in your name. The point is 99 times out of 100, ringless voicemail messages from telemarketers are deceptive in one way or another.

Are Ringless Voicemails Illegal?

The very concept of sneaking a voicemail message into your inbox without ever technically calling you is quite new. Only in the last few weeks have newsgroups started picking up on this telemarketing phenomenon. (You can click here to see an article posted in early September by WAAY 31 ABC out of Alabama.) With that said, the TCPA wasn’t exactly written to anticipate such a nuisance, so the legalese on ringless voicemails is in the gray. If the government wants to make it flatly illegal to use a ringless voicemail, it might need to update or amend the TCPA.

Are you getting spammed by ringless voicemails and live in the greater Chicago area? Call (312) 313-1613 to connect with Atlas Consumer Law. Our law firm is dedicated to protecting consumers like you from annoying and potentially harmful violations of the TCPA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and other crucial pieces of legislation that outline your rights as a consumer in the modern world. We may be able to help you stop ringless voicemails and seek compensation from the company bothering you at the same time.