|Received:||11/29/2004 9:00:01 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:The proposed amendment of the Telemarketing Sales Rule to create an additional call abandonment safe harbor to allow telemarketing calls that deliver a prerecorded message to consumers with whom the seller on whose behalf the calls are made has an established business relationship IS NOT in the best interest of consumers. The proposed amendment will grant perpetual license for sellers to intrude upon consumers leisure and personal time without first seeking their explicit consent, falsely based upon the premise that a business relationship which has existed in the past is indication that the consumer wishes to grant unfettered access for the pupose of advertising additional services or products. Ones private phone lines, answering machines and voice-mail boxes are not, and should not be treated as, public squares or malls where sellers are free to bombard current, past and prospective customers with solicitations. The private phone line is just that, private, and should be treated as private property, no different than our front yards or stoops. We would be aghast, having just purchased an appliance from a major retailer, to find them permitted to line the walkway from our garage to our front door pitching their latest deals and bargains, either in person or with signboards embedded in our lawns, simply based upon the existence of a prior transaction or relationship. The propsed amendment is the electronic equivalent of this scenario. I grant sellers my attention at the time of my choosing (e.g. walking through the mall, reading my junk mail when I choose to, watching TV, etc). A phone call, even a prerecorded message, is a direct link to my consciousness that should be reserved for those whom I have invited into my home, either physically or electronically. The proposed amendment should only be implemented if it is modified to include a specific and explicit opt-in provision disallowing any contact with the consumer unless a formal request is INITIATED AND MADE by the consumer granting this form and method of contact.