|Received:||11/28/2004 4:53:32 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:This is the worst of all possible amendments. Automated phone spam is already the most abusive, as it usually grabs the phone line and won't let go until it's done with its spiel. This wastes my time if I happen to answer the line, and wastes the limited space on my voice mail if it picks up. In my experience, automated phone spam is the least likely to have a valid way to get off the list. Oh, sure, it may give you an 800 number to call, but in practice I've found that number to be disconnected, or to lead to a convoluted phone tree designed to discourage you from pursuing your claim. Furthermore, there's no way to prove that you actually called to ask to be removed. The concept of "prior contact" has already been stretched to absurd lengths by Comcast, Sprint, and other corporations, rendering that prohibition meaningless. Furthermore, there's no way for the consumer to prove that the advertiser is complying with the law. In 2003, as the Direct Marketing Association desperately lobbied against the "Do Not Call Registry", they floated the argument that banning telemarketing would cost thousands of jobs. Thanks to computer automation and internet phones, the new regulation would allow telemarketers to re-establish nuisiance calling at minimal cost without creating any new jobs. The cost savings to the marketer would undoubtedly lead to an explosion of abuse. We already have a good law in place, one that has been wildly successful in stopping the onslaught of unwanted tele-marketing. The current law is one of the most popular pieces of legislation in recent memory, and one of the most effective. Do we really want to go back to the days of constant sales pitches and clogged voice mail? As I write this, it's Thanksgiving weekend. This year, my Thanksgiving dinner was uninterrupted by sales calls for the first time in a decade. Why would we want to change that?