The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 September 2003

Try to see it my way

Hardly anyone has actually come out in favor of telemarketing this week, which should surprise no one.

Just the same, The Oklahoman this morning had a piece about one of the plaintiffs in the suit that alleged the FTC had no authority to administer the national do-not-call list. Rick Ratliff, who runs a local security-systems company, stands by his position:

I understand the popularity, but what's legal and what's right is something else. I don't like my mailbox inundated with junk mail every day that I go to it. I don't like seeing some of the billboards that I pass on I-40 that are objectionable to me. Yet I understand that those people have a First Amendment right of free speech.

I've driven down I-40 rather more often than I'd like, and I don't remember ever having to interrupt that driving to look at a billboard, but maybe that's just me.

And standard (formerly "third-class") mail (the Postal Service gets livid when you call it "junk") in effect subsidizes the classes that you actually want, so perhaps the solution is for telemarketers to pay my phone bill.

Posted at 12:23 PM to Political Science Fiction

The government is prequalifying prospects for the telemarketers, and doing so at taxpayer expense. A list of positive prospects sold, last I saw, for $15 per thousand names. A list of negative prospects - be more productive by not calling these people - shouldn't cost the telemarketers a whole lot less, and if they weren't being stupid they would be thrilled to pay.

Posted by: triticale at 9:27 PM on 27 September 2003

You'd think that. But there is a tremendous amount of stupidity and/or ill will connected to this entire enterprise, at both ends; 120 people this week Googled into this page hoping to find the phone number of the "traitorous" (someone did actually say that) judge that put the kibosh on the list, presumably to teach him a lesson.

I avoid the pitchmen by, well, avoiding them; I pick up the phone only when I recognize who's calling. Not creative by any means, but effective.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:09 PM on 27 September 2003