|Received:||12/6/2004 11:53:17 AM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Unlike an unwelcome piece of postal mail or spam, a pre-recorded message cannot be browsed by the consumer looking for a specific information -- the name of the company marketing to them, for instance, or the price of the product or service on offer. A consumer must listen to the message until the point of interest comes up. So, so what the FCC would require all pre-recorded message marketers to allow customers to opt-out by providing a telephone number? It's clear that marketers will not provide the opt-out contact at the BEGINNING of the message, isn't it? Marketers will design messages to REQUIRE consumers to listen to the offending marketing blather and will put the opt-out contact at the end of the call. A modest proposal -- require such calls to be made from dialers that can simultaneously play the message and LISTEN for (and record) touchtones. Require a standardized rule that by pressing, say, '9' a customer would automatically opt-out. On another note, until the rules that define a pre-existing relationship are tightened up CONSIDERABLY, it seems that anything about the telemarketing to pre-existing customers is really about telemarketing itself. The definition is far too broad. Most customers could probably agree about 80% as to what constitues a relationship versus merely a repetitive shopping pattern. But the way the rules are written now, just about anything counts. I walk into a store one time and that creates a relationship, even if I determine on that one visit that the store doesn't suit me. Shouldn't customers feel they can test drive a supplier of goods and services without opening the door to 18 months of telemarketing? Again, a modest proposal. In order to qualify to market under the pre-existing relationship rule, a company must explicitly offer a pre opt-out in EVERY CUSTOMER CONTACT CHANNEL. That is, every cashier in any retail establishment must have a stack of opt out forms prominently visible. Every VRU must offer telemarketing opt out in their TOP LEVEL of the inbound tree. Furthermore, a qualifying company must be able to prove that they offered this global opt-out for at least 18 months prior to any telemarketing campaign.