|Received:||11/28/2004 3:37:43 AM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Regarding the opening of the "do not call" registry to pre-recorded advertisements : Given that the "prior business relationship" is often interpreted by companies as extending to their "affiliates" ( a practice very familiar to those of us with over-stressed spam filters on our email ) I feel it would be in violation of what we, the consumer public, felt the spirit of the "do not call" list to be. I do not want to be disturbed in my home - I do not have a "spam filter" for my telephone. What filtering capacity I enjoy comes from my phone service provider and is not sufficient to block unwanted callers. I have several blocked numbers listed in the limited space made available to me for that purpose, and each of these is a telemarketing organization guilty of calling with pre-recorded messages ( giving no option to speak with a person, which, as i understand it, is a violation in its own right ) or organizations with apparently are unable to understand that those of us on the west coast do not appreciate calls made from the east coast at the very start of the business day in Florida ( particularly those that block their numbers. When someone calls me at 5am, I expect that someone has died - not that someone wants to offer me a free trial subscription to Sports Illustrated .. particularly irksome since I have never subscribed nor expressed interested in Sports Illustrated ). The phrase "Do Not Call" is fairly unambiguous to the laity. It would be nice if at least one standards / regulating body would stand by the spirit of their words. It would be preferable for me not to have to resort to cell-only service ( which is the only option for those of us who truly abhorr unsolicited telephone calls from vendors ). Given that there is no guarantee that a comprehensive directory of cell phone number will not be published and / or the ban on solicitors using these numbers will remain in effect, even this option is not really an option - only a short term solution likely to impose financial burden on me without the expected gain. The lifting of the restrictions imposed by the "do not call" list, which to this point been widely perceived as a giant step in the right direction, would erode much trust in the FTC. Electronic "spam" and the classic physical "junk mail" is annoying, yes, but not nearly as obtrusive as a telephone call in the middle of the night or in the dark hours of the morning offering me plumbing service from a company on the other side of the country. Being a data specialist I understand the technical difficulty in filtering that amount of data for accuracy - mistakes will always be made. A mandate with penalty is the only deterrent. I, for one, greatly appreciated the FTC's efforts on our behalf when the "do not call" list was created and was quite pleased to hear of initial enforcements. I don't know what financial or political pressures are being brought to bear to cause the FTC to relax the strictures, and I realize a single individual has negligible impact on your organization as a whole, but I'm sure I'm not the only person who holds the same opinion. If an amendment is to be made to the "do not call" list restrictions, I would ask that, at the very least, it be made clear in no uncertain terms that the privilege of using the registered numbers only apply to businesses with an ESTABLISHED, DIRECT relationship to the consumer ( ie, one with which I have done business with directly ) and that cold-call soliciation not be allowed. Frankly, if I wanted to have a conversation with an organization that I have had business with in the past, I would call Them. Unless the conversation is regarding an open account or unfinished transaction, they calling me simply guarantees that they will not receive any more of my business. Overly relaxing or abolishing the "do not call" list simply guarantees that I will disconnect my land voice service entirely and rely on alternate methods of communication.