In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Choreboy <choreboyREMOVE@localnet.com> wrote:
> This afternoon I rushed into the room to answer a call on the third
> ring. "This is Tell Nants calling on behalf of Bell South in regards
> to telemarketing. Sorry we missed you. If you have any questions,
> call 1-866..."
> It's pretty bad when somebody programs a robot to call homes and hang
> up without saying what it's about.
> The call came from 954 443 9404, which is Technion Communications. On
> the web I've found complaints that their telemarketing robots will
> bombard a Bell South customer day after day. Apparently the law
> doesn't apply if the victim has a business relationship with the
> client, in this case Bell South.
The language of the statute (47 USC 227) does *NOT* support that
interpretation. It gives a free pass if the _caller_ has a "prior
business relationship" with the party being called. There is nothing
to indicate that the party with the prior business relationship can
"delegate" that right to a third party.
Particularly sections (a) (3) (B), and (a) (4) (B)
> Two hours later I found a similar message on my answering machine,
> again telling me to call Bell South at the 866 number. Because the
> robot was programmed start speaking immediately, I didn't get the
> whole message. That could lure the victim into calling in case it was
> important. (On the web I've found a document where Technion argues to
> the FCC that the law doesn't apply if they can lure the victim into
> making the call.)
> It seems like harassment to me. Can I do anything to stop it?
Consider a small-claims lawsuit for 'statutory damages' ($500) under
47 USC 227.
File a formal complaint with the Federal *TRADE* Commission, for
violation of the 'telemarketing rule".
Get on the federal "Do Not Call" list, if you're not there already.
The FTC rules make it clear that 3rd-party telemarketing agencies have
to scrub against that list -- even if their client is 'exempt' from
Dunno about Bell South, but SBC -- who is *really* egregious with
their telemarketing --_will_ flag a customer account for "do not call
for marketing purposes", upon request.
I betcha Bell South will too. The law *requires* that companies
maintain their _own_ internal Do not call list -- for *anyone* who has
expressly requested that "that company" not call them. The 'prior
business relation- ship' exemption does *not* trump the
company-maintained 'do not call' list for marketing calls.
Note: When requesting (demanding) addition to the company DNC list,
the companies are prone to tell you that it will take some period of
time before that request becomes effective. Reply that the only delay
sanctioned by law is for a number entered on the *NATIONAL* Do Not
Call registry. that there is *NO* provision in law for any delay in
implementing a company-specific "do not call" request. For a telco,
require that they put in the account 'notes' that "customer has
directed that his number be put on the company-maintained do-not-call
list, and that therefore, in compliance with federal statute, all
telemarketing calls cease IMMEDIATELY."
The telco _is_ "responsible" (as in 'legally liable') for the actions
of any 'agent' or contract marketing service that violates the law.
This opens the door for small-claims action against *both* the actual
telemarketer, and the telco. subpoenaing the records for when
_anyone_ "requested" addition to the company-maintained do-not-call
list, when the add was _actually_ made, and the date/time of the last
call each such number, does wonders for showing 'knowing and wilful'
violation --- allowing for treble damages to be collected.