Ringless voicemail

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Ringless voicemail, also called a voicemail drop, is a method in which a pre-recorded audio message is placed in a voicemail inbox without the associated telephone ringing first. This practice is commonly associated with spamming and debt collection services.[1]

Legal status in the United States[edit]

Although the Federal Communications Commission was petitioned to exempt the practice from robocall laws, the petition was dropped after it raised controversy.[2] However, there is no mandatory legal precedent that makes the practice automatically illegal in the U.S.[3]

United States courts have consistently ruled multiple times[4] that voicemail is subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act the same as a regular telephone call, however due to the level of courts who have proceeded over these cases none of the decisions made to date carry binding legal precedence over other courts or jurisdictions. This leaves the legality of ringless voicemail drops opened for a higher court or the FCC to still decide whether ringless voicemail drops is illegal in any circumstances where the recipient phone number belongs to a rate limited account.

Legal status in Canada[edit]

In October 2004, there was a CRTC hearing in Ottawa in which ringless messaging was officially deemed a legal service in Canada.[5]


  1. ^ http://www.copilevitz-canter.com/commentary/are-ringless-voicemail-calls-exempt-from-the-tcpa
  2. ^ https://www.pindrop.com/blog/fcc-ringless-voicemail-petition-is-dead/
  3. ^ http://www.copilevitz-canter.com/commentary/are-ringless-voicemail-calls-exempt-from-the-tcpa
  4. ^ http://www.copilevitz-canter.com/commentary/are-ringless-voicemail-calls-exempt-from-the-tcpa
  5. ^ "CRTC rules junk voice mail not enough of a nuisance to ban it". Retrieved 2018-03-06.