FTC Bans Automated Marketing Calls...Sort Of

Posted: Aug 28 2009, 11:02am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 4:00pm CDT, in Technology News


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It's 8:00 PM. I'm finally done with all of my work for the day. I'm exhausted, but I have just enough time left before bed to get a little bit of work done on a private project. I settle down, open up a fresh document, and start to write. My mind slips into the zone, my fingers begin to move of their own accord, and words blossom across the page like mushrooms after a summer storm. For a few moments, I reach Nirvana.

Then the yelping chirrup of my G1 pulls me away from my writing-induced coma and yanks me back to the real world. I blink in surprise, curse loudly and creatively, and answer my cell.

“This is a call from your bank, warning you that there has been an error with your credit card. Don't worry, we just need to...”

I scream and launch my smartphone across the room. It dents the wall on the far side of my apartment and tumbles to the ground with a resonant 'thwack'. (Thank goodness for armored cases) I've just had my evening interrupted by yet another company trying to sell me something by pretending to be my credit card company. It happens a good three to four times a day (despite the fact that I have no credit card), but every single call is just as infuriating as the last.

That's why I was so happy to hear that the Federal Trade Commission decided to ban automated marketing robocalls. (Thanks Gizmodo!) After September 1st, all companies that violate this law will be fined as much as $16,000. Per call. That's a fine decision by the FTC, and one I was willing to cheer...until I heard the REST of the story.

You see, this new ruling only applies to companies trying to sell you something. Churches, politicians, banks, and cell phone companies are still free to send you automated robocalls begging for money. Once again, the government almost gets something right, but manages to botch it coming into the home stretch.

Ah, well...at least we'll have LESS spam to deal with in our voicemail. Mankind progresses in baby steps.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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