|Received:||11/1/2006 6:25:10 PM|
|Subject:||Telemarketing Sales Rule|
|Title:||Request for Public Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:I personally believe it is pretty important to allow companies who use these pre-recorded phone calls responsibly to continue doing so. The most important thing to realize about this automated phone calls is that they are actually less invasive, not more invasive than a live person, and as the person being called, I find it to be a better experience. A recorded message is always polite, I can hang up on it if I like, and as long as the option to opt-out is presented, I can be much more certain that my wishes not be contacted again will be obeyed. In contrast, live telemarketers are often rude, they usually have a quota and become pushy, and they have very little incentive to remove me from a list when I ask -- I have often had live telemarketers hang up on me before I even get a chance to ask them to remove me from their list. If we should place limitations on anything, we should limit the degree to which businesses can use invasive and persistent live agents to hawk their products. Why are we placing such strict limitations on pre-recorded messages? Why are we making it harder for companies to become smarter in how they communicate with their customers? On a scale of invasiveness, I would rank email the least invasive, then a pre-recorded phone call, then a live-phone call, then a front-door house-call. So as far as creating regulations, it seems that we are starting at the wrong end of spectrum. I think companies and customers have a unique opportunity in using automated communication techniques because they are far cheaper than live people, and this gives companies the opportunity to communicate with me in situations they haven't previously. While it is true that this opens the door for some forms of unwanted communication that companies haven't previously been able to make cost effective, it equally opens the door for WANTED communication that companies haven't previously been able to make cost effective. Wouldn't be nice for your bank to notice you were overdrawn and let you know? Or for a retailer to call you and let you know that your package had shipped? Don't make a blanket rule for something that should be up to the individual consumer and a free market to figure out for themselves. If a company is pestering me with their communications, I can choose not to do business with them anymore... But by making all automated forms of communications so difficult to use, this regulation makes it hard for companies to have the opportunity to provide better service to their customers.