|Received:||12/5/2004 4:06:00 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Prerecorded telemarketing calls are the worst sort of telemarketing currently being practiced. They are the telephonic equivalent of spam, such a problem in the e-mail field that it threatens to make the medium virtually unusable. Creating a call abandonment safe harbor for companies with established business relationships will open the floodgates for this sort of telemarketing. Because prerecorded calls are very cheap, many more companies will take advantage of the very loose definition of established relationship currently written into the DNC laws to harass millions of additional people in their homes, despite their explicit statement that they do not wish this harassment. The requirement that companies must make available a phone number so that consumers may remove themselves from calling lists is entirely inadequate. Again, we need only look back to the world of email and spam to verify this. There, many mass mailers at least purport to take people off of their lists after a response to a specific address. Even if these promises were legitimate, however, no email user could rationally respond to the tens, sometimes hundreds, of pieces of spam that they receive a day. It's a losing battle. The only rational way for consumers to remove themselves from the huge and profitable marketing maelstrom that's at the heart of the telemarketing business is through a centralized database. Thankfully, the FTC has provided this through the Do Not Call registry. Now, the FTC must stand by their convictions and ensure that the DNC registry remains a strong tool of protection for consumers. The proposed safe harbor instead could make it useless, with DNC-registered consumers receiving millions of new, and unwanted, calls thanks to companies taking larger advantage of preexisting loopholes in the law due to increased economy. Please show the American consumers that they remain important to the FTC by synchronizing the FCC regulations with the FTC's stronger protections, not vice-versa. Reject the call abandonment safe harbor.