|Received:||6/24/2005 1:18:41 PM|
|Organization:||North American Equipment Dealers Association|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Definitions, Implementation, and Reporting Requirements Under the CAN-SPAM Act|
Comments:The North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) represents over 4,700 retail agricultural, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. Collectively, these dealerships represent tens of thousands of owners and company employees. NAEDA is also an association that has 15 affiliate organizations in the U.S. I am writing on behalf of our U.S. members and our affiliate associations. We appreciate the Federal Trade Commission allowing comments pertaining to the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM.) rules outlined in the Federal Register date May 12, 2005. Our dealer members strongly support an “established business relationship” option where business relationships have existed in the past with their customers. The imposition of new and additional emailing criteria will only impose additional costs on dealers, many of which will only have small staffs to monitor and implement the requirements, giving those same dealers no choice but to stop using email as a communication tool. To address some of your specific requests in Part VII, please accept the following comments for your review: 1. Section B. 1. f. – We believe that on-line groups formed by an association for specific purposes should not be subject to CAN-SPAM regulation. We utilize a number of on-line groups that communicate using email on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This can be in the form of committees, task forces or for groups designed with specific business purposes and goals in mind. Each of these on-line groups communicates with each other as members or in some instances as a moderator may deem necessary. Commercial messages may be sent to these on-line groups asking for evaluations of products or for interest in purchasing a product(s). NAEDA, as an association, may or may not be initiator of these messages, as some will come from moderators and others from the members of the group themselves. It will be almost impossible for us as the host of the on-line group(s) to effectively monitor and allow opt out provisions for individual members or for individual messages without destroying the entire purpose of the group(s). 2. Section B. 2. e. – NAEDA is an association with 15 U.S. affiliate organizations. We recommend that messages from affiliated third parties, in this case our affiliates, be allowed to facilitate, complete or confirm a commercial transaction that a recipient has previously agreed to with NAEDA. This should also be extended to NAEDA where the initial contact for a commercial transaction was by an affiliate who then asks us to facilitate, complete or confirm the transaction directly to the recipient. An example of this would be the purchase of an educational program or materials promoted by the affiliate, but supplied by NAEDA. 3. Section B. 2. j. – We encourage the Commission to deem transactions that a recipient has signed up for, whether free or subscribed to, be considered a transactional or relationship message that is not subject to CAN-SPAM regulation. NAEDA provides regular email updates that are part of a membership in the organization. We consider these to be an important part of a relationship and communication avenue. 4. Section B. 2. l. – Messages to lapsed members should be allowed and considered transactional or relationship messages for a specific amount of time. NAEDA does communicate with “lapsed” members for a period of approximately 180 days. We would ask that the Commission allow this continued communication under CAN-SPAM regulations. If regulation is proposed for lapsed members, we believe a reasonable amount of time for continued communication should be allowed, and recommend six months. Thank you for considering our comments.