Chapell & Associates

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Do Not Call list under attack, activists say

MSNBC July 20, 2005
They're back. Or they might be, those pesky telemarketing calls, after nearly two years of peaceful, interruption-free dinners. That's the warning a consumer protection group is about to issue. Legal wrangling threatens to disrupt that dinnertime quiet, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which plans to present its concerns to the Federal Communications Commission later this month. Telemarketing groups are quietly mounting a campaign that would open the door to a floodgate of new calls, EPIC says, pointing to a series of requests filed with the FCC, essentially asking the agency to invalidate state laws regulating the practice.

The Chapell View
I'm certainly not particularly sympathetic to the telemarketing industry. They had the opportunity to negotiate a workable self-regulatory solution. In fact, one could argue that they've had over 20 years to do so. And all the do-not-call legislation in the world isn't stopping the handful of calls I get each week - presumably from individuals hailing from Banglore or other places offshore.

However, I also recognize the difficultly of complying with a patchwork of state laws - some of which tend to be poorly written.

The existing business relationship certainly represents a potential loophole. However, we need to get a better sense of the SIZE of the loophole before passing judgment. Is the 'existing business relationship' exception being abused? In other words, are consumers who purchase a cup of coffee really being inundated with phone calls from the coffee merchant?
posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 20, 2005

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