|Received:||3/21/2004 1:43:58 PM|
|Organization:||Afton Village Homeowners Association|
|Commenter:||Mary Gay Donehoo|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
My first comment relates to the impact of anti-spam regulations on VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS: As newsletter editor and secretary of my homeowners association (and, separately, as a member of a "pet rescue" group) I regularly send alerts and notices to more than 100 members of the association who have voluntarily signed up to receive these e-mail messages (the list could grow to over 250 this year). This task has become increasingly time-consuming as addresses reject my "mass mailing" and I have to re-send messages on an individual basis. Since I am doing this as a volunteer activity for the HOA, I simply don't have the time (or expertise?) to send individual messages to 250 people! My hope is that a compromise can be reached that will allow small charitable or volunteer organizations like ours to send our "mass mailings" - perhaps by identifying us (the senders) as non-spammers, since we have what I consider a transactional relationship as a result of the addressees' membership in our (i.e.) homeowners association? My second comment relates to the impacts of regulations on SMALL BUSINESS: As a REALTOR - an independent contractor - in business in Houston, Texas, a large portion of my marketing and "relationship-building" effort is following up initial contacts with an e-mail note or card. I believe that, if a potential client has given me his or her e-mail address, we have established a transactional relationship. Much of our property searching is now Internet-driven. I do not believe that every time I send a potential client a new listing I should have to identify it as ADV (an advertisement) - which is my understanding of what I will have to do under the new regulations. Many of my initial contacts with customers are simply "auto-notifications", e-mails sent to notify them that a new listing fitting their pre-defined criteria has gone on the market. I would like to see some clarification on this - are these OK and considered non-advertisement because we do in fact have a transactional relationship - even if may not have taken the step of getting a Buyer Representation Agreement signed? As a final comment, I am 100% in favor of ANYTHING that will stop the onslaught of penis enlargement, Viagra, and other rather lewd and lascivious garbage messages that flood our e-mail inboxes every day - on both my home and office computers - not to mention the e-mail fraud that appears regularly ("help me get $100,000,000 out of my late father's account in Liberia by sending me your bank account number and I'll reward you by sharing the money with you"!!!!). These people should be in jail - just for the time wasted by people like me who have to delete message after message from our incoming mail, and of course for the fraud perpetrated on any poor fool who pays attention to their messages! Thank you for your attention.