|Received:||11/27/2004 7:49:33 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Since the implementation of the Do Not Call registry, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of telemarketing calls. As far as I can tell, the major remaining problem with the list and the rules governing it is that exceptions exist to permit calls from nonprofits and from organizations that decide they have some business relationship with me. The very worst sort of telemarketing call is the one made by a machine. Pre-recorded messages are just as invasive and unwanted, and far more frustrating. With no human to tell "put me on your do-not-call list" I can get no sort of closure unless I call the number listed at the END of the message (not likely). The more galling part of the experience is knowing that the wretched organization inflicting this offense upon me is doing so at virtually no cost to themselves. Pre-recorded messages don't even require the small cost of paying human operators to call. In other words, these advertisers have wasted MY time, while making virtually no investment of their time or money. I am vehemently opposed to expanding the loopholes available to those who wish to invade my home with their unwanted messages. I can think of no clearer way to say "do not call me!" than to put my number on the national Do Not Call registry. The rules proscribing telemarketing need to be more stringent, not less. I do not want phone calls from ANY organization, not even one claiming some alleged tenuous "existing business relationship." I most emphatically do not want to hear a machine spouting a pre-recorded message in my ear when I answer the phone. That would never be acceptable. I also oppose the second safe-harbor change. The statistical effect of altering the call abandonment measurement period is to permit more calls to be abandoned. When measured per day, the telemarketing firms must staff at a much higher level to ensure that the three percent figure is not exceeded on a daily basis than they would to ensure that the average is not exceeded over the course of a month. The daily average makes sense from a few perspectives. The advantage of leaving the rule as it is is that it drives up the cost of telemarketing, putting the burden on the telemarketer rather than on the victims who answer calls only to have them abandoned (a profoundly annoying experience). If telemarketing were difficult, expensive, and troublesome enough, then it would be more likely to be used only in very targeted ways with consumers likely to respond positively to the message. That benefits everyone (possibly including the telemarketers, though they are unlikely to see it that way). I hope that serious consideration will be given to the enormous popularity of the Do Not Call registry. Likewise, I think that everyone who has listed a number on the Do Not Call registry has a reasonable expectation that their action is telling the world of telemarketers not to call. Permitting greater leeway is not what we had in mind.