Public should demand that banks, insurers and telemarketers respect their privacy through existing laws and guerilla tactics.
Santa Monica, CA -- In reaction to a ruling striking down the federal "do not call" list, author and consumer advocate Jamie Court called upon the public to demand that banks, insurers and telemarketers respect their privacy through existing laws and guerilla tactics.
Court, whose book Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom And What You Can Do About It (Tarcher/Putnam), is "keeping muckraking alive" according to Publisher's Weekly, said companies that continue to use telemarketers should be dealt with in keeping with the recommendations in his book Corporateering.
"The public now has to take matters into its own hands until the courts decide the Americans' privacy is more important than corporations right to invade our homes for a sale," said Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, who called on America's largest corporations to respect Americans' privacy. "Now is also the time for better businesses that do respect Americans' privacy to say they will abide by a 'do not call' policy out of respect for the 50 million Americans who said no to telemarketing."
Court recommends the following tactics in his book:
- Tell a corporation, "Do Not Call." Next time a telemarketer calls, just say, "Put me on your do not call list." Corporations are required under federal law to have such lists and to pay $500 every time they call someone on them. If they keep calling, collect $500 for each violation. Cite 47 CFR 64.1200; 16 CFR 310 -- Code of Federal Regulations.
- Banks, insurers, credit card companies, and other corporations that do business with Americans should be asked whether they have a "Respect for Home Life" policy, which entails not making unsolicited phone calls. Companies should be encouraged by their customers to adopt such policies or face losing business.
- Consumers can still join a state "do not call" list, which prevent telemarketers from calling in your home state.
- Consumers should keep their own "call lists." Every time a telemarketer calls the consumers should record the name of the caller and the company they work for as well as the product the company is selling. This will help in the collection of the $500 fines if a telemarketer calls again, as well as wasting telemarketers' time. Consumers should also report the offending companies to their state attorney generals for possible prosecution under relevant state laws, which were not nullified by the ruling.
- Corporations that do not respect our privacy should be branded "corporateers" in conversation and boycotted, or at least ostracized. "Corporateeer" is the word Court is putting in use to brand corporate misbehavior when companies disrespect for social mores, ethical custom and rules of law. Any corporation that makes unsolicited calls should be called a "corporateer."
"If the telemarketing industry wastes 2 minutes of 50 million Americans' time, the collective offense to Americans is a huge a one," said Court. "Congress and the courts must act for Americans' privacy, but until then the public should take matters into its own hands."
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