|Received:||1/10/2005 11:33:47 AM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Telemarketing calls are the equivalent of electronic trespassing on private property. All citizens should have the right to decide whose presence on their property or in their home is acceptable and whose is not. Phone calls are inherently disrupting and cannot be eliminated or ignored without loss of one's right to communicate with those one wishes to communicate with. Thank heavens consumers finally have the right, in theory, to enforce this via no-call lists. However, in my very strong opinion, rather than being weakened, the rules for telemarketing should be even more strict than they currently are. Specifically: First, with regard to no-call lists, there should be an option to disallow fund-raising calls, which are every bit as much of an imposition as sales calls, usually far more persistant, and often received in greater number. Second, for those who wish it, calls from companies with whom the particular consumer has conducted a business matter should be limitable to relevance to that specific transaction only. Last but certainly not least, companies do not always abide by these lists, whether deliberately or by error. It is crucial for the rights of the consumer under the present system to be able to directly address a human being to inform them of their do-not-call status in order to prevent further violations -- or to gather information for the filing of a complaint. Telemarketing by pre-recorded message eliminates the opportunity to do this. Furthermore, for those who do opt to receive telemarketing calls, the ability to ask questions or gather information specific to their own interests ought to be considered a fundamental right of the consumer. The telephone is inherently an instrument for two-way communication. A standardized pre-recorded message does not allow for this, and such commercial messages ought to be restricted to the various print and electronic mass media and to roadside billboards, where the consumer always has the ability to turn away without particular inconvenience. Such messages fundamentally violate the nature and best and highest purpose of the telephone. They tread upon the rights of all consumers. If the government nevertheless sees fit to dilute the regulations, then please respect the rights of those consumers who strongly object to this type of telemarketing by offering them the right to opt out of receiving pre-recorded messages. Thank you.