Often when governments pass laws and acts, it is to serve better the people within their country or jurisdiction at that moment as well as the foreseeable future. However with the quickly changing technology of today it is not always possible to pass laws that last very long when it aimed at controlling or monitoring certain technology. In the last few decades the United States Government passed two laws aimed at telemarketers. The first Act was passed in 1991 and is called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the second is the Do Not Call Implementation Act of 2003.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 1991 The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is aimed at protecting consumers from automated calls with pre-recorded messages. The introduction of automated systems for automated calls and messages to people as well as fax machines introduced a consumer burden. Beyond these calls being disruptive when received late or early to the recipient, the calls were also costly when to certain types of phone lines.
Recipients that would receive these calls on their cell phones or paging devices would often have to pay for their minutes and usage. This added up over time to be a burden on the recipient. The Act was introduced to stop the use of automated telemarketing with prerecorded messages and autodialing. It also prohibited telemarketers from calling recipient outside of the hours of 8 a. m. to 9 p. m. Telemarketers were also to keep a list of anyone that did not wish to be called again for five years.
These rules went into effect on December 20, 1992 (Direct Marketing Association, n. d. ). Calls also cannot be sent to emergency numbers, lines to hospital or nursing home rooms, and cell phones or paging devices (Federal Communications Commission, n. d. ). Do Not Call Implementation Act of 2003 The Do Not Call Implementation Act of 2003 was designed with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in mind as additional steps to protect consumers. Telemarketers started to get smarter about getting people’s numbers to call.
Many companies online would share contact information with other companies thus provide a way for telemarketers to call new potential call lists. These marketing lists were being sold to companies all over, and consumers would have no idea their names contact information was even listed, or a way to remove it. This mass movement of information showed new holes in protection that was not covered in the previous TCPA. Telemarketers did have to remove people from their list if requested, but that list was for that one telemarketer.
This left the possibility open for all the other telemarketing companies to still call from mass marketing lists being collected from the internet. Then the government proposed and enacted the Do Not Call Implementation Act. This Act provided consumers a place to sign up for one master list that telemarketers were to use to not call people for solicitation. It is not the end all be all list; however, many states also have their own lists that require people to register. These lists provide protection only to people’s home telephone and cellular numbers (Federal Communications Commission, n. . ). Conclusion With the invention of the autodial and recorded messages technology, the government put in place rules and restriction for using such technology. This provided good protection from annoyance and cost effects of unwanted calls for some time to consumers. However, with the expanding technologies within databases and the Internet, it became easier for telemarketers to get many numbers to call to solicit. This ease required an additional Act to be put in place to help protect consumers from harassment and annoyance.
Direct Marketing Association. (n.d.). Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Retrieved from Direct Marketing Association: http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/tcpa.shtml Federal Communications Commission. (n.d.). Do Not Call List. Retrieved from FCC Encyclopedia: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/do-not-call-list Federal Communications Commission. (n.d.). Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls. Retrieved from Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/unwanted-telephone-marketing-calls GovTrack.