|Since the publication of our
various columns, articles and letters regarding our position on the
Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), we have received a truly overwhelming amount
of responses to our stance, and the responses have run the gamut from
entirely negative to 'yes, but'' and through to the 100 percent supportive.
Some letters have contained mostly venting on one opinion or the other (pro
or con), but the many more interesting letters have provided suggestions,
tips and mixed thoughts on balancing the right to free speech and freedom
from undue government regulation with the right not be called at home the
moment we put our first forkful of dinner in our mouths at the family dinner
We have taken many of these suggestions to heart and added them to our
list of considerations as we form an 'action plan' for ourselves and on
behalf of the industry as a whole. Below, I'd like to share a sample of the
types of responses we have received (and continue to receive). You've heard
our opinions on the subject, these letters can offer you a general picture
of what other readers of Customer Inter@ction Solutions' think. I
continue to encourage you to express your opinions about the topic and our
coverage of it.
Dear Mr. Tehrani,
Although I am a subscriber to your magazine and I manage an inbound help
desk, I believe you are off-base when you describe the new FTC regulations
as obtrusive and counter-productive. They may be to you and some of your
readers, but they certainly are not to me! When outbound contact centers
repeatedly call people on a 'cold-call basis' without any regard to the
timing of these calls it is intolerable, upsetting and unwanted.
I pay monthly for telephone service and that telephone number is assigned
to me for my benefit, not the outbound call industry. I can call someone; I
can request information or even order items over the phone. However, when
the outbound call industry invades my privacy to offer me a 'deal I cannot
live without,' I personally think (and obviously from all the do-not-call
lists around the country many people agree) that the practice of making
these outbound calls must be restricted to only those who request
information. If the seller 'has all these deals,' then they should choose to
advertise in publications that a person needing their deal reads, or they
can even (heaven forbid) contact the vendor directly. You would think that
with all the specific advertisements in your magazine that TMC would
understand this philosophy as much or more so than others would.
Now you want ME to pay to be on a do-not-call list'you are being absurd!
You think that the people on these do-not-call lists did so in error and did
not understand what they were wanting! Ridiculous! The only thing I think
about [the Telemarketing Sales Rule] I have read is how really bizarre the
fine is only $11,000 per call. If I had my way, I would make it $110,000 per
call! If that damages the industry, I do not believe anyone but some of your
constituents would be upset.
- Larry D. Thorn
While I can respect your stance on the [Federal] Do Not Call list, I take
exception to your extremely alarmist way of describing its potential
results. I am glad to hear that responses have been about 50/50 opposed and
Please limit your predictions of a collapsing world economy and focus on
developing your good ideas for improving the way the list operates. These
concrete details make for a constructive dialog while the "chicken little"
attitude is a big turn-off.
I would probably agree with your position on government-funded TSR if not
for the reality of being bombarded by obnoxious telesales reps for years.
Nothing that a private citizen does has any effect on these people. Not only
are the calls intrusive, untimely and repetitive, but sometimes they are
downright offensive, especially when someone tries to cut off the
conversation quickly (and courteously). The argument can be made that there
are always a few bad apples, and they should be reported. Unfortunately,
this is no longer true. There are so many irritating things that go on that
reporting abuses does no good. There is nobody with the time or funding to
pursue the issue anyway.
I have come to the conclusion that the only way to stop these abuses is
through a government-funded 'do-not-call' list. After talking with people
who live in Pennsylvania where their program is a reality, it is clear that
it benefits many more people than it hurts. Rather than crying about the
jobs lost, it is time for the industry to find a new means of contacting
people who want to be contacted. If the industry had done a better job of
policing itself, then this legislation wouldn't be necessary.
- Russ Drumheller
Thanks for being aggressive relative to the FTC and how it impacts our
industry. I really don't think the government understands what kind of
impact they will have on call centers and local economies.
With efforts like yours they will learn quickly.
Anthony Marlowe, President
TOTAL Marketing One
I get your magazine and I've been involved in Direct Sales all of my
life, but honestly, your letter has no swaying effect on me at all.
As much as I dislike government regulations, I am more unhappy with all
the abuse that the telemarketing industry has poured out at me over the
years and as far as I'm concerned, it is getting worse, not better.
The worst new phenomenon is the robot dialer. I like to receive inbound
calls from customers and from people I don't know. I don't even mind getting
calls from telemarketers when they're polite, knowledgeable and if they are
In spite of your efforts to educate these outbound people, you (your
industry) have made numbers a priority over the quality and training of the
I don't want to talk to robots and I don't want to talk to idiots and
there are just too many in the telesales field.
I consider it a rare blessing to receive a call from an intelligent,
knowledgeable, salesperson. The problem is'it just doesn't happen very
So instead of pouring out your heart to the President, why don't you get
more people like you to pour out their hearts to your own industry?
Sorry, I'm all for the government getting involved. At least they are
listening to people.
Let's hope [President Bush] gets the word and can stave off this possible
hindrance to our economic recovery.
C. Don Gant
V.P. Business Development
Iwatsu America Inc.
Congratulations on the terrific letter to President Bush. As a long time
member of the telemarketing industry, past president of the ATA, past
chairman of the TMC and contributor to one of the very first issues of
Telemarketing' magazine, I wanted to say thanks. We need more people to
stand up and fight this unnecessary intrusion of Big Government. I believe
yours is the first I've seen to cover all of the important points that the
Bush Administration has missed.
JHA Telemanagement, Inc.
To The June 2003 Table Of Contents ]