Telemarketer Fees May Increase
The Federal Trade Commission wants to significantly increase the fees telemarketers must pay to gain access to the national do-not-call list.
The agency said not as many telemarketers are paying for the list as it had expected; as a result, it is proposing to raise fees from $25 to $45 for every area code for which a telemarketer wants to know the numbers that are not to receive solicitations. For telemarketers seeking many area codes, the maximum cost would climb from $7,375 to $12,375. Telemarketers must buy the list, or they risk having to pay fines if consumers complain about receiving unwanted calls from them.
So far, the FTC’s Lois C. Greisman said, the agency has collected between $10 million and $12 million, short of the $18 million budgeted to run and enforce the do-not-call list for the first year.
Now, I’m all for sticking it to telemarketers. But is there another enterprise in the country that, faced with slower than expected sales, radically increases prices?
It’s also rather unorthodox for government to sanction people if they engage in a certain behavior and then keep that behavior a secret, revealed only to those who pay for it. You’d think some enterprising firm would buy the list and then sell it to subscribers at a fraction of the original cost. Or that the telemarketers would form an association that shares the list.