|Received:||12/10/2004 2:37:17 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:As a telecom consultant, I am familiar with prerecorded calling. While this rule change would help my clients with the bottom line, ethically I must tell you that it is a terrible rule change, and I will give you an example: Many large phone card providers have databases of millions of call records for phone card calls. They contain the ANI (caller ID) and destination number. With this rule change, they could interpret that all people using any of their phone cards have a "pre-existing relationship", and with the abandonment rule change, the phone card user will get bombarded with these automated calls. 1. Many calls are from mobile phones, because the mobile phone providers charge so much for international calls. These unwanted calls will now be using up the recipient's minutes, and actually COSTING the recipient. And since telemarketers previously didn't have the mobile phone numbers, here is another method of bothering people. 2. The demographic for many of these people is poor and uneducated, where they will be taken advantage of, and can least afford extra minutes on their mobile phones. 3. Another large portion of these calls is from home. You are circumventing the do not call list for these people and creating an inconvenience. As I understand it, telemarketers can already skirt the Do Not Call list using an exemption for companies with which consumers have pre-existing business relationships. In such cases, telemarketers are required to use relatively expensive live callers. The rule change would pave the way for widespread use of cheaper prerecorded calls - allowing automated telemarketers to vastly expand the scope of their operations. I know these guys, and how their systems work - hundreds or thousands of phone lines making simultaneous phone calls, with those who answer and press a key being transferred to a live operator to sign them up for some type of long distance service. And they will call back again and again, with different automated pitches ("Best rates to India", then "Best rate to Hyderabad", "Free 10-minute call to India", ad infinitum). So please, do not make this rule change. .