|Received:||1/10/2005 1:08:03 PM|
|Commenter:||P. Michael Kalis II|
|Subject:||Trade Regulation Rule on Telemarketing Sales|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:I consider myself to be very "pro-business." I am a corporate attorney whose livelihood depends upon business, in fact. However, I am also keenly interested in the maintenance of personal privacy rights, as they have been interpreted in our country. As I am certain that you have your own attorneys to do this job, I will refrain from entering into a lengthy analysis of the relevant rules. Rather, I would simply petition you to look at certain facts. There is tremendous support for a "do-not-call" scheme. This can be objectively measured by the volume of previous comment on the topic and the number of subscribers to this scheme. Moreover, I believe that I can accurately state that a stronger scheme is much preferable to a weaker one. Please review the bent of previous comment in support of this assertion. A "do-not-call" scheme is directly contra to the interests of such organizations as the DMA. There can be no denying this. The fact that the DMA and others are seeking amendment to the much-lauded current scheme is per se proof of this. However, the real issue here should be whether or not it is acceptable to delegate the oversight of Americans' privacy to a non-governmental organization which has clearly defined interests in seeing its erosion. I think that it is not. Despite the billions of dollars that organizations such as the DMA state are lost under the current scheme, what is the real matter of import? I pose the following for thought: Are Americans really hurt in any way by not having their dinners or the few precious hours spent with their children in the evening after a long (but productive) day interrupted by a callous sycophant whose only concern is making a sale? Neither human decency nor common courtesy factor with such people, nor, especially, with those who employ them. Personally, I object even to companies being legally able to contact me via telemarketing where a previous relationship exists. If I fail to make a loan payment, then allow them to contact me in any manner reasonably necessary. Not so, however, for something which I have not requested. If I am interested a bank's "extra" services for its credit card customers or in a newspaper subscription, one can be assured that I am able to seek out further information unaided by their prying "assistance." Telemarketers have become uniformly reviled in our country. Witness Jerry Seinfeld's bit about them. Funny? Perhaps, but, at the very heart of the matter, it is not. It is an invasion. Period. In most states, attorneys, for intance, are not allowed to unilaterally contact prospective clients via MAIL, unless certain precautions are taken (conspicuously marking the material as "marketing," using red ink, large typeface, etc.). All that for mail. How much more intrusive is a telephone call, even if it is a machine on the other end? Especially if such a call wakes you or your children up during a well-deserved rest or if it is done repeatedly, in a punitive fashion, because one chooses to hang up on the caller. I urge you to carefully consider this matter of grave importance. This is NOT just about a newspaper not being able to solicit new subsciptions. This is a matter of precedent, a reclamation of rights which many in our country have been all to willing to abdicate for one cause or another, legitimate or no. I urge you to accept no dilution of the current scheme, whether now or in the future. Thank you for your consideration.