|Received:||11/27/2004 11:59:35 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:The telephone is an interactive medium. Answering a telephone involves action by the person receiving the call. It is a distraction from whatever else is in progress and requires the time and attention of the person receiving the call. The telephone is an integral part of today's economy, so not answering a telephone is not an option, and even screening phone calls takes resources. When a consumer -- no! When a **CITIZEN** clearly indicates that unsolicited commercial communication is UNWANTED and HARASSING, as is evident by signing up for the DO NOT CALL list, that should be respected, and penalties applied to those who wantonly flaunt the law. This is especially applicable to commercial entities that employ computerized dialing systems. Such machines save commercial entities money, but even one abandoned call WASTES the time of the citizen receiving the phone call. The current 3% abandoned calls allowed is still 3% too much. Admittedly, some calls made by people are dropped, but when abandoned calls are a measurable quantity instead of a rare anomaly, that smacks of corporate greed and/or incompetence trying to push the limits of the law instead of practicing due diligence to stay on the correct side of the bright line of the spirit behind the DO NOT CALL and related telemarketing legislation. As technology in our daily lives improves, commercial entities should be held to higher standards, not looser ones. The DO NOT CALL legislation should only become stricter over time. In the same vein, allowing unsolicited phone calls from commercial entities with a 'previous business relationship' is way too vague and implies a lack of understanding of the desires of citizens signed up on the DO NOT CALL registry. If a business intends to contact a citizen by telephone, that information should be transmitted to the citizen, and not buried somewhere in legaleze of Terms and Conditions or End User License Agreement, or any other type of agreement. Not only that, the business should directly obtain the phone number from the citizen and not from any other source. At that time, the citizen should be made aware of the intentions of the business to call the citizen, and the citizen should have the option to deny permission to do so. Businesses should be required to respect this option and continue on with the business transaction unless the business clearly and undeniably must have the ability to telephone the citizen. In other words, commercial entities should not have the ability to 'lie' to citizens and force under duress permission to call the citizen in order for the business transaction to take place. Thank you for your kind attention.