|Received:||12/14/2004 11:56:55 AM|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:Prerecorded solicitations continue to be a problem with residential lines. Even with my number on the national DNC as well as state DNC, I still get unsolicited calls without an EBR as well as dead air calls. In the week of December 2004, I received no less than 5 dead air calls that had Caller ID information blocked. No message was given and there was no way to identify the caller. The consumer should be allowed several avenues at preventing further calls if they should desire not to be contacted again. It should be reiterated that all calls should not block Caller ID information and that the number displayed must be a legitimate contact number for the entity placing the calls or on whose behalf the call is made where a DNC demand will be recorded. I have received calls advertising a particular radio station where the only number offered is that of the general studio line, certainly a place where a do not call demand will not be recorded. This requires that the consumer take considerable time and effort to locate the management and navigate a maze of voice prompts and employees to find the entity responsible for making the calls or recorded DNC demands. While prerecorded calls by entities with whom a significant business relationship has already been established is reasonable, calling that consumer and hanging up is not. The use of the ‘key press’ method to make a DNC demand is inadequate as it does not allow for the protection of consumer rights. This does not allow the consumer to make a demand for the company's DNC policy which must be made available to them upon demand per the TCPA. If companies are not required to provide this, then there is little to no accountability. Also, upon consumer request, the DNC demand should apply to both the entity on whose behalf the call is placed as well as the entity placing the actual call. The consumer is allowed to sever the EBR for telemarketing purposes and should likewise be able to prevent the entity placing the calling from contacting the consumer for any purpose ever again. This is why it is important that the entity placing the call identify themselves upon the initiation of the call. It should also be made clear that this applies to companies that are accepting calls that are a result of a number left by the prerecorded message. It is extremely common for such calls centers to identify themselves with generic terms such as 'Promotion Center' or 'Awards Center' and refuse to identify themselves as well as the client on whose behalf the call is accepted unless they think the caller is only interested in the sales promotion and will disconnect of they fell that the consumer is attempting to make a DNC demand and a demand of the policy. Any names given should be the full business name under which the entity is registered with the state. I believe it reasonable to allow a maximum of 2 seconds of dead air since the caller is using computer technology to allow immediate connections to be made. It is still vital that at the beginning of the call that the entity identify itself by the name under which the entity is registered with the state to do business. A valid telephone number as well as address being given is to be considered the bare minimum as well. Overall rates averaged among ‘client campaigns’ requires that entities investigate complaints not only to find the abandonment rates for a specific entity, but every entity for whom calls are placed. Using the logic of the petitioning DMA member, they could claim a 0% call abandonment rate for an entity that has 100 calls placed and a 6% call abandonment rate for an entity for which 10,000 calls are placed and subsequently suggest an ‘overall’ 3% abandonment rate was reached. My name is Michael Blitch and I am a resident of Tampa, Florida and feel that the FTC should not relax standards on call abandonment for prerecorded or live solicitation calls. Rules should be set to ensure proper identification has been made.