|Received:||11/27/2004 10:01:47 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:RE: Prerecorded Message EBR Telemarketing, Project No. R411001 This proposal would subject telephone users to an unlimited barrage of prerecorded messages from all of the organizations with which users must do business as a matter of daily living. Utilities, newspapers, magazine publishers, auto service centers, department stores, and the like would have no barrier to continuous calling of telephone users. The ability to subject users to cheap prerecorded ads would be irresistable to advertisers, especially given the telemarketing vacuum (and blessed peace) created by the Do Not Call list. Worse, there is nothing in the proposed rule to stop businesses from advertising services of other unrelated enterprises in these prerecorded messages. The rule would thus turn every business into a money-making ad agency with its own customers as the target audience. Implementing this rule would destroy the gains of the Do Not Call list. The opt-out provision is unhelpful, because there are a huge number of businesses an individual consumer would have to opt out of. This rule could also potentially cost consumers a huge amount of money. I, for example, forward my home phone to my cellphone -- something I can afford to do because the Do Not Call list assures that virtually every call I receive is a usefule one. I pay for each forwarded call, both in cellphone minutes and in voicemail and paging charges. Prerecorded ads would not be able to discriminate between calls landing on a consumer-costing line and one that is billed at a flate rate, thus many consumers using advanced telecommunications features would bear actual monetary costs for each phone spam message. Businesses can already make live person phone calls to their customers; There is no consumer service reason for pre-recorded calls. This rule would simply save telemarketing businesses a boat load of money and open the floodgates of phone spam once again. Finally, I already have serious disagreements with a number of companies that call me claiming to have an "existing relationship" with me. This rule would induce many new bogus relationship advertisers. This proposed rulemaking should be abandoned in its entirety.