December 06, 2011, 2:20 PM — Are you ticked off by automated phone calls from political candidates? Now you can do something about it. Visit Reverse Robocall, and for less than the cost of a latte you can make your own automated calls to politicians about things that really bug you (like robocalls).
It’s pretty simple. Choose the issue, party, political entity, or representative you want to call. Plug your phone number into the site. Reverse Robocall will call your phone and let you record a message. Hang up and pay online to have that message sent and get an email report on whether the calls were answered. Better yet, you can post recordings of those calls online, if you choose, so others can listen in and rate your call (witty, angry, dull, etc).
The calls generally cost $2.49 per elected official, but there are group discounts. Got something you need to share with all the major GOP candidates running for president? That will run you $6.49. Have an urge to dial up every Democratic member of Congress? The pleasure can be yours for the low low price of just $19.49.
Reverse Robocall is the brainchild of privacy activists Shaun Dakin and Aaron Titus. According to Dakin, 69 percent of Americans received at least one robocall during the last election cycle. Those in battleground states likely received multiple calls in a single day. And while commercial robocalls to your cell phone are verboten under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (but still happen anyway), political calls to your mobile are legal in 48 states.
But even commercial robocalls may soon be legal, if the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011 (HR 3035) comes to pass. Two months ago Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) introduced this bill, which would lift the TCPA’s restrictions on “informational robocalls” to mobile numbers. Its primary sponsor, per Dakin: The US debt collection industry, which wants to harangue its targets in the cheapest, most obnoxious way possible.
So Dakin built a list for people who don’t want every politico and/or scumbag robocalling their cell phones. For $6.49, you can set up a call that will be sent to the Congressional sponsors of HR 3055, along with the White House and key lobbyists – 45 all told.
Here’s the text of the call I made (as well as the recording):