The creation of a national telemarketing do-not-call list may sound like bad news for businesses reliant on call centers. The law allows the government to fine telemarketers up to $11,000 for each call they make to consumers who request that their number not be called for marketing purposes. Yet industry insiders seem largely unfazed. Though the Direct Marketing Association has filed suit against the Federal Telecommunications Commission, claiming that the law violates free speech, many call-center operators note that it's not clear how the FTC will investigate and adjudicate claims of unwanted calls -- which suggests lax enforcement for the time being. And "many states already have do-not-call lists," adds Jim Mitchell, founder of Concerto Software, a telemarketing services provider. So far, fines resulting from these lists haven't hobbled the industry.
Jul 1, 2003