|Received:||9/13/2004 12:06:41 PM|
|Organization:||Virginia Credit Union, Inc.|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Definitions, Implementation, and Reporting Requirements Under the CAN-SPAM Act (NPRM)|
Comments:Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule outlining the criteria for when an e-mail message has a commercial primary purpose. I am responding on behalf of a state-chartered credit union in Virginia. Overall, we believe there should be an exemption from the requirements for membership organizations, such as credit unions, since we believe messages from credit unions and other membership organizations are welcome by members and are not the type of unsolicited messages addressed under the CAN-SPAM Act. In our experience, on a typical e-mail, we have less than a .2% unsubscribe rate. According to recent market surveys on the open rate for e-mails, typical rates are around 20%; our credit union has seen rates twice that, indicating an interest in the messages the credit union is sending our members. If an overall exemption from the proposed rule is not extended to membership organizations, we also offer the following comments: We agree under the proposed rule that e-mails that contain both commercial and transactional or relationship content would not have to comply with the CAN-SPAM requirements as long as the transactional content is place at or near the beginning of the e-mail. We believe this approach is reasonable and provides sufficient guidance. We also believe communicatons such as newsletters from membership organizations be exempted from the requirements. Newsletters are among those communications sent by member organizations such as credit unions, to inform and educate members of benefits and services; these newsletters tend to be a mix between commercial and transactional and would be difficult to determine which of the two to categorize the newsletter. Another example would include benefit related e-mail messages designed to inform members in a general way about their various benefits as a member. Should you have any questions about our comments, please feel free to contact me: Beverley F. Rutherford, CIA, CUCE, Vice President/Compliance, Virginia Credit Union, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, (804) 560-5665, email@example.com.