News and Analysis from the Telemarketing Industry

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  • The Jig is Up: Where is telemarketing heading now?
    Mary Ann Falzone takes a tough look at the revolutionary changes that have swept the telemarketing industry in the last 2 years, and offers some hopeful insights into how survivors of the Do Not Call Registry fallout are adapting and even thriving in the new legal, outsourcing and marketing environment. The author helpfully summarizes new “best practices” that are enabling some marketing telemarketing firms to deliver more value than ever to their clients, and of course prosper in the process. The DNC registry has worked like a one-two punch with the growth of the Web. The internet has promoted “permission marketing” with opt-in email lists and search-engines. Customers are taking back some power to chose to receive your marketing message. These realities have forced teleservices vendors and their clients to tighten up sales team management practices and reevaluate how they understand their customers and prospective customers. Falzone pins down several useful suggestions at the end of the article which ought to improve any telemarketing firm’s fundamentals in a changing, competitive marketplace: how to figure out how efficient your telemarketing sales team and logistics are. 
  • Supreme Court Defends Do Not Call Registry
    In early October, 2004, the Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal brought by plaintiffs from the telemarketing industry against an earlier Federal Circuit Court decision which upheld the FTC’s “Do Not Call Registry.” The legal strategy by attorneys representing three marketing groups – The American Teleservices Association, Mainstream Marketing Services, and TMG Marketing – was based around an argument that the Do Not Call Registry infringed on the businesses’ free speech rights, protected under the First Amendment. Lawyers reminded the court of the implications for larger, ongoing debate over how to balance the rights of commercial speech with consumer privacy concerns, and they claimed that the appellate court ruling in favor of the DNC registry would set a dangerous anti-business precendent. Extrapolating from the ‘free speech’ line of reasoning, the marketing groups insisted that by allowing for exceptions for unsolicited calls made by political and charitable organizations, the Do Not Call laws were discriminatory. Plaintiffs’ lawyers also maintained that because consumers already had available means for ignoring unwanted calls, the federal database of “illegal” residential phone numbers was unneccessary and burdensome. Ultimately, none of these tactics succeeded, and the case was summarily dismissed. Read more here… 
  • InfoUSA lobbies for amending Do Not Call List legislation
    One of the data provider industry giants, InfoUSA, began advocating early in 2004 for more flexibility in the FTC’s interpretation and enforcement of the federal Do Not Call List, specifically for small businesses. This is one of many challenges that have been mounted in the last year by direct marketing and telemarketing associations on both legal and political fronts, but this campaign is focused specifically on persuading Congress to make allowances for small businesses running local telemarketing promotions. Interestingly, InfoUSA has used a combination of direct mail marketing and advertising to get their message in front of legislators, and has plans to expand this effort into a wider grassroots movement by enlisting the voices of some of their most adversely affected clients. Read more here… 
  • FTC
    Fines Florida Companies for Debt Management Telemarketing Sales Campaign

    Here’s another very compelling story from the trenches of the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ wars that should give telemarketing firms a major signal to follow the letter and spirit of the FTC regulations. Of course can provide professional guidance on successful, ‘Do Not Call’-safe telemarketing and sales campaigns

    The following is excerpted from the FTC’s website:

    The Federal Trade Commission has charged five Florida corporations and the three individuals that control them with violating the National Do Not Call Registry and falsely representing they provide debt consolidation services. According to the FTC’s complaint, Debt Management Foundation Services, Inc. (DMFS), which falsely claims to be a nonprofit corporation, and its affiliates have used a deceptive telemarketing campaign to mislead each consumer that enrolls with DMFS into paying hundreds of dollars in up-front fees. DMFS’s telemarketing campaign has also prompted complaints from consumers all over the country who have received calls from DMFS even though their phone numbers are on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry. At the FTC’s request, a U.S. district court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against most of the defendants barring them from engaging in illegal activities, freezing their assets, and appointing a receiver to manage their business.

    Click here to read the complete article


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