|Received:||11/28/2004 10:24:46 PM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Members of the FTC, In considering the proposed rulemaking concerning Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales, I am moderately alarmed that loop holes are being considered while the regulation is still relatively fresh - and as most Americans are finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of its enactment. There are several flaws in the logic concerning this matter which I wish to point out: 1) Voice Mail Broadcasting has no way of knowing before placing a call under this propsed loophole whether the person they are calling maintains an answering machine or subscribes to voicemail service from their local phone company. Millions of retired, eldery and disabled Americans who spend the day at home - whom the Do Not Call system was specifically designed to protect - do not own or maintain an answering service or device. Thus the call to them would be the same as any other annoying sales call - only without a human on the other end to explain why they were being called. According to Voicemail Broadcastings own statistics, that leaves the potential to annoy 1.5 million persons per day. Until they have actually called a person - and attempted delivery at least once - there is no way of knowing they will indeed be delivering the message to an answering machine. 2) Many subscribers to voicemail service check their messages from cell phones and other tarriffed connections. The FCC has specifically barred cell phone "spam" to date for this reason - the called party would incur a financial penalty for the call. In this case when the cell phone user called home to check his or her voicemail, he or she would be incurring per minute charges from the cell phone company to listen to an unsolicited commercial message. As many voicemail systems to no provide a simple mechanism for instantly deleting the message without first hearing it, these users would be forced to bear the burden of cost associated with the message delivery - which heretofore has been prohibited. 3) Similarly, with Local Number Portability, many former residential telephone service customers have now moved their land line phone numbers to cell phone and voice over internet protocol services. As such, these subscribers would be similarly burdened. Additionally, the subscribers receiving calls on their cell phones during the business day - which will no doubt be when messages will be delivered - will most likely be on the job and lose work productivity because of the intrusion. At this time in the history of consumer protection, instead of more calls we should instead be giving what they are asking for - No Calls. Period. If a person has taken the time to place themselves on the Do Not Call Registry, he or she be protected from all commercial marketing calls - regardless of origin - unless they have specifically opted-in to receive specific calls from individual companies. Instead of opening a new loop hole, the FTC should be working hand-in-hand with other government agencies to eliminate the existing loop-holes which continue to garner consumer complaints (i.e. calls by professional political entities). Please hear us loud and clear: We, the American People, do not want pre-recorded message telemarketing. We have chosen to not be called. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.