Not surprisingly, the Federal ‘Do Not Call’ registry was swamped yesterday as 735,000 phone numbers were registered. Starting in October, telemarketers can be fined $11,000 for each number on the list they call. Of course, the politicians protected themselves:
The new list applies to most businesses but does not affect solicitations from political organizations, charities, surveys or insurance companies.
Also, companies retain the right to contact customers for up to 18 months after their last transaction, or up to three months after a request for information or the submission of an application. However, by law, individual companies must heed any consumer’s request to stop calling.
Certainly, better than nothing, but a lot of loopholes. A national opt-in list would be much more preferable. And, while I understand polling and political calls, the rational basis for excluding insurance salesmen escapes me.
The telemarketing industry is filing lawsuits, presumably on 1st Amendment grounds, and claims that two million jobs could be lost. I would think the 1st Amendment claim would be shot down, but, as we found out yet again this week, there’s no predicting how Supreme Court justices will read the Constitution. Clearly, no right to intrude into the homes of others is included in the Bill of Rights.