|Received:||3/13/2004 5:55:23 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
I run a very small business from my home. I am a full-time caretaker for my 83-year-old mother, and working from home is my only option to be able to take care of her. The current regulations require a physical address on each message I email, so I'm required to put my home address. I have no recourse. I never spam anyone. I'm careful to only reply to people who contact me after seeing one of my ads or one of my websites. I never spoof my return address or mislabel the subject line. I hate spam as much as anyone and I spend hours every day sorting through things that are obviously a violation of this law. However, I represent a couple of dozen companies and market as an affiliate for them. Most marketing is done on my websites, but I also have several opt-in email lists. I don't know of any way to comply with a national do not email list and I don't know how to comply with a request to not send email to someone who has opted out from one of the companies I represent. I'm a good, ethical marketer, and I'm very careful about whom I contact, but I'm worried that I'll be considered a spammer through actions of others that I can't control. It would mean I would have to close my business and lose the meager income I'm able to earn through affiliate marketing. I've spent years building my business and I don't know what I'll do to be able to care for my mother if I'm unable to use email to communicate with customers and prospects who contact me to initiate a relationship. If someone asks me to stop communicating with them, I'm happy to remove them from my lists. But, I can't control the acts of others and I don't know how to comply with requests not to be contacted if they are sent to other organizations. I'm already afraid of calling someone on the phone because they may have signed up for the do not call list. A do not email list will kill my tiny one-person company. Thanks for the opportunity to comment. John L. Dilbeck, Owner of DilbeckMarketing.com and other sites that market products through affiliate relationships.