WORSE THAN I THOUGHT: Read Phone Burner’s Desperate Updates to its Clients as its ENTIRE PLATFORM Shut Down By Carriers Following FCC ORder

The Czar breaks it down.

So absolutely huge response to my article last night. But it turns out things were even worse for Phone Burner than I predicted.
While I anticipated Phone Burner would struggle in the wake of the FCC’s Public Notice, it turns out its entire platform was shut down for a lengthy period following the Order. Per its website:
On Tuesday afternoon, our company was made aware of a Public Notice posted by the FCC to all US-Based voice providers. As part of that notice, PhoneBurner was listed as one of the service providers for a company placing alleged illegal calls.
The notice was clear that calls originating from our platform, by the customer named in the Notice, were to be suspended within a prescribed timeline. We had no advance notice of this Public Notice and, to our knowledge, neither did our carrier partners.
As you have experienced, some of our carrier partners have interpreted the Public Notice to include all PhoneBurner traffic. In our opinion, this clearly was not the intent of the Public Notice by the FCC.
We are working aggressively to get our services restored, and there are a few material updates to provide you.
First, we have retained legal counsel that specializes in working with the FCC.
Second, our legal counsel had meetings this morning with the FCC on our behalf. We believe that the interpretation of that meeting was consistent with the Public Notice. Simply put: carriers were asked to remove one company’s traffic and not all PhoneBurner call traffic.
Third, our legal counsel, in partnership with the FCC and PhoneBurner, is identifying a series of modest and near-term steps that can be taken to help us reactivate our outbound dialing services. This is the most important step.
Fourth, to help appropriately set expectations, service could be restored in the next few hours to the next few days depending on some of the factors described above.
We will share more information regarding timing of service restoration with you as soon as we have it. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and service restoration is our top priority.
Thank you for your trust in PhoneBurner. Please know we are doing all that we can to reactivate our outbound dialing services.
Team PhoneBurner
I’ve invited both the FCC and PhoneBurner to join the Deserve to Win podcast to discuss.
I should note that the latest update from Phone Burner says service has been restored as of 12:33 am pacific this morning- just a couple hours after my post last njght:
SERVICE RESTORATION (partial): As of 12:33 AM PT (Friday 1/27) we have resumed our outbound dialing service. We continue to work on SMS, Inbound (vPhone) and Number Purchasing. We’ll update status as we make progress.

So did the czar save Phone Burner? Maybe.

But this really underscores the impact of the FCCs rulings here. Let’s brainstorm ways to avoid this happening.



  1. Unfortunately, this looks like a textbook TRACED Act case for the carriers/providers supplying suspect service. The underlying case concerns MV Reality who has an Unfair Trade Practice suits by the Attorney Generals of Florida, its home jurisdiction. FCC sent out a Cease & Desist Notice to suspect providers over 48 hours ago. If they responded and are adequately complying with the FCC’s TRACED Act C&D, then they may have some disruption but may not be shut down. US Telecom via its Industry Traceback Group sent an email advising providers on the STIR/Shaken and traceback registry about the C&D. Other upstream & downstream providers may be pulling back to avoid risks and look good mitigating. That is secondary effect of things like this. Also, because of the way MV Reality arranged it’s “liens” on consumers (and the investigation on it cited by the FCC) the alleged calls in question are being deemed fraudulent by FCC, not traditional TCPA defined robocall. This happening on Friday also shows that the enforcement was coordinated. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau shuts down at 5pm Eastern if staffers are not working remote virtual. This is one to watch.

  2. Imagine that a store sells a kit consisting of a gun, a ski mask, and a portable police scanner. And a customer can return the next day to have his tattoos removed and his vehicle painted a different color.

    The telcom equivalent is to sell a rapid-fire dialer, along with a set of Caller ID numbers that disguise the caller’s identity and location. This is combined with a service that detects which Caller IDs have been flagged as spam, and automatically replaces them with fresh phone numbers.

    Maybe there are legitimate reasons to use a dialing platform like this, but it’s hard to think of what they might be. Displaying a local number on the Caller ID allows someone to call back without incurring a long distance charge – but a toll-free number accomplishes the same thing. And if someone can google the toll-free number and find the company’s website, that’s a positive. Free advertising! Why use an ever-shifting set of phone numbers, from an area code where you don’t even have an office, unless you have something to hide?

    I’ve done a bit of work with mass emailing services that are used for opt-in notifications. These companies understand that one ill-behaved sender can result in others having their messages blocked, because the emails come from a common set of IP addresses. So, they vet their customers, they actively monitor traffic volume, and they take quick action on spam complaints. The message from the FCC is that dialing services had better start following these same practices – especially if they sell a bundled set of tools that makes their platform attractive to hoodlums.

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