NYT reports industry claims of a crisis in telemarketing caused by the do-not-call list:

Unless the courts intervene, their crisis begins on Oct. 1, the day the do-not-call registry takes effect. From that day forward, telephone solicitors who call the 48 million phone numbers that Americans have voluntarily placed on the list so far will risk fines of up to $11,000 a violation.

“It’s D-Day,” said Lisa Scheuerman, who operates a telemarketing center in Baltimore, with 17 callers selling mortgage refinancings in seven states, including Florida and Connecticut. “I could lose my whole business.”

The industry says some two million phone-solicitation jobs could be lost within months.

There are TWO MILLION people employed as telemarketing scumbags? That’s simply remarkable.

Many are planning to increase their solicitations to commercial establishments, which are not allowed to list their numbers on the do-not-call registry, or go to work for charities and other nonprofits that do not fall under the new restrictions. Others are talking about hiring employees and contracting out their call-center operations to serve businesses that need phone-in customer support services.

Already, some companies are spending tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade automated dialing systems to comply with the new rules and are hiring consultants to delete phone numbers on the do-not-call registry from their calling lists.

One result of the regulations, industry executives predict, is that smaller telemarketing operations will close and the larger companies will consolidate. But even big, successful marketers may find telemarketing becoming unprofitable.

A pity, to be sure. But it looks like there will actually be gains in employment in the short term.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rick DeMent says:

    What these sob stories don’t tell you is that money will now be freed up to spend in other forms of advertising, direct mail, door to door, and ads and billboards. Also since more and more of telemarketing work is going to Inda anyway it’s really not much of a loss.

    But frankly until someone can explain why the phone I pay for sould be up for grabs for commercial advertising they can all take a powder.

  2. 42nd SSD says:

    For years the telemarketing companies have been claiming they really didn’t want to annoy people–after all, calling people who aren’t interested in their advertising is just a waste of time. That’s what all this “targeting” nonsense via consumer databases is all about, right? Improves efficiency, more cost effective, blah blah blah.

    Now that 48 million people (actually it’s more than that, since it’s really 48 million phone numbers) have clearly indicated they aren’t interested in receiving telephone solicitations at all, the tune has changed. “What? You mean nobody wants this stuff? Oh no, what are we going to do now?” Yup.

    What I don’t get is why the marketers think anyone cares that they might go out of business. Well, duh. They’ve been running one of the world’s most inefficient businesses (a .1% improvement in sales is “amazing”) and they’re surprised at the consequences of revealing the truth of it all?

    I just hope the courts don’t decide to do something really dumb here.

    I’ll be very interested to see what the bottom-line effect is on the companies who were advertising via telemarketing.

  3. Teri Lester says:

    Oh, they’re going to start calling BUSINESSES now? We have seven lines at work. All of them are on somebody’s call list. I constantly get recorded calls for mortgages — by the time the voice mail turns them over to the operator they’re on question five, and I hang up. Once or twice a week I come in and there is a message from one of them, also on question five – I know what it sounds like when they breathe between words, so I’m down to about .4 nanoseconds before I delete the message.

    How many commercial establishments do you know of who are interested in home equity loans and the Wine of the Month Club? Ha!

  4. Red Neck says:

    I always say: ” Got Dang Tanisha! sell crack sell yo pu$$y!! you shoulda stayed in Skule!!

    or the dating service who calls AGAIN after I hang up “eat shite and DIE white trash muddafukka!”

    NOW we should boycott fast food and Theme restaurants and REALLY put the hurt on the uneducated bastards.