|Received:||12/13/2006 7:55:50 PM|
|Subject:||Telemarketing Sales Rule|
|Title:||Request for Public Comment|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 310|
Comments:I don't think the law needs to restrict contacting people with automated messages when there's an existing business relationship. I think the laws and regulations are fine as they are today. Like most people, I don't want to be solicited about carpet cleaning services or vacation packages from companies I've never done business with. However, there are times that companies I do business with could contact me with really useful, valuable information. For instance, I know of people who were contacted by their insurance companies by automated phone calls to let them know that their policy has expired and asking if they want to renew right there on the phone using an automated system. I think this is a great service! If my wireless carrier left me a message about an offer to better rate on my service package or if my bank asks me if I want to renew a CD or somethign like that, I would want to know about it. Realistically, most of those types of communication happen by mail, and I often find myself not paying attention to it because the information gets drowned out by all the junk mail. But the phone is different - if I get a phone call from a company I do business with and it has information that's useful for me, I appreciate it. If I had to opt-in by writing to every company that I could potentially get useful information from, it would be a burden and I wouldn't do it. I think the government should strictly enforce the existing business relationship caveat, but the proposed changes, as I understand it, is overly restrictive and hurts me as a consumer. Furthermore, major companies don't want to offend or bother their customers. So if I felt like I was getting too many automated messages from a company I'm doing business with, I could always contact them and asked to be put on their do not call list. Basically, if the existing business relationship clause is effectively defined and enforced, I think legitimate businesses will police themsleves because they don't want to come across as an annoyance and risk losing that customer. Again, it's the fly by night, mom and pop, local businesses that I've had the most trouble with, not the national companies. Those kinds of pure solititations from companies I don't know are illegal today as the laws are worded (as far as I understand), so to me there's no reason to make it more restrictive and lose the benefit of having a company I do business with reach me with a way to save money or continue to buy their product or service. I think it's easy to lump automated messages together with telemarketing and take the position, "Don't bug me!", but frankly I prefer automated message to a human trying to pitch me something, and in many cases the automated message has valuable information. I think changing the laws to make it more restrictive than an existing business relationship is throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and I implore the FTC to please not do that! Thank you.