Date: Wed, May 3, 2000 1:00 PM
Subject: Telemarketing Review -- Comment.FTC File No. P994414
Telemarketing Review - Comment to FTC File No. P994414
I'm a consumer beseiged by commercial calls. I routinely explain to live callers that I do not accept commercial calls and asked to be removed from their lists. But I have, on several occassions, come home and found my answering machine message tape monopolized by a long, long, l-o-n-g commercial message that may keep me from receiving other messages -- there's only so much message room on the tape. There is no way to stop the commercial message from running (unless you're at home to hang up), and NO WAY TO TELL THE COMMERCIAL CALLER THAT YOU DO NOT ACCEPT COMMERCIAL CALLS AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THEIR PHONE LISTS.
Pre-recorded commercial messages should be banned outright. They do not give the consumer any way to opt out, either before they use up the consumer's message time on an answering machine, or in the future. In one case, the company sponsoring the commercial message (an interminable spiel from Dick Clark touting a TV show) tried to argue that the calls to consumers weren't covered by the Telemarketing Act on the grounds that the message wasn't intended to sell the consumer a product. If this is true, please close this loophole. TV stations sell advertising time, which is based on the number of viewers. Cold-calling members of the public in their homes to urge us to watch a show is designed to raise the revenues that TV stations can earn from selling their product (i.e., advertising time), and should be covered by the Telemarketing Act, which aims to protect the public from the intrusion of revenue-raising calls from strangers on our home phone lines.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments.