Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino

Oh, How Our Hearts Bleed For Telemarketers

from the did-I-catch-you-at-a-bad-time? dept

There's an effort under way by telemarketers to get the FCC to pre-empt state do not call laws so they've only got one set of national rules to deal with, rather than the potential of 50 separate ones. The apparent problem are five states' laws that are stricter than federal rules, some of which don't let telemarketers call anybody on their list, regardless of any "existing business relationship" -- an exemption in the federal rules. The situation isn't quite as dire as EPIC makes it out, since only 5 states have felt the need to beef up the federal regulations. But while it may be a pain for telemarketers to have to deal with so many different laws, does anybody really mind? After all, you'd be hard pressed to find anybody (other than the telemarketers themselves) that want to make it easier for them to contact people. A similar issue is popping up in the UK, where telemarketers are upset with a new privacy scheme by BT to sign customers up for that country's version of the do not call list. Some of these companies sound like the movie studios of the marketing business, clutching at straws and trying to hang on to their outdated business model. In a sense, DNC lists help telemarketers, by weeding out people that definitely won't respond to their pitches -- which is actually beneficial for some companies.

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