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Good morning Senator,
I have had a somewhat significant opportunity spanning several years dealing with government officials at both the State and Federal level from Representatives and Senators to Cabinet officials in DC. To say my experience has been underwhelming would be an understatement. Based on that experience my expectations are limited to a form letter reply from a college intern followed by an endless stream of emails pushing your issues, agendas and donation requests. I apologize for my degree of jadedness but you only have to watch the news to see why I and so many others feel this way.
There is an issue, however, that can and should be addressed. My options are to use the ‘political process’ or to go the crowd-funding route and force a ballot initiative. Let’s see where this goes…
Most of us have been on the receiving end of a telemarketing onslaught that originates with a group of illegal, unscrupulous individuals that simply relocate in the rare instances when they are caught and brought to trial. The calls keep coming. The most famous of these is ‘Rachel from Card Services’ although Rachel has been retired in favor of alternate names. These same groups simultaneously run similar scams targeted at seniors. The FTC touts a series of actions against a couple of these groups but the calls have never abated. Any fastidious Google-searcher can find the most prevalent peoples’ names and addresses (although likely prior addresses). I personally receive between 5 and 10 of these calls a day. All my phone numbers have been on the Do-Not-Call registry since its inception and our listings have been kept up-to-date. As a point of due diligence I have made numerous reports to the DNC system over the years and one report to the FBI when one of the associated telemarketers threatened to come to my house to kill me and my family. I’ve never been contacted by either agency nor am I surprised. The fact is, the FTC/DNC Registry couldn’t shut these people down if the operation was being run from their own lobby. I have contacted the MA Attorney General’s office and was told to contact the Do Not Call Registry. There is no ‘contacting the Do Not Call Registry’. You simply fill out their complaint report on their website, the data from which is poured down the same black hole that swallowed the credibility of politics in America. I have also contacted my TelCo provider, Verizon, and spoken at length with someone from their fraud department only to be told that they ‘have no authority’ and there is nothing they can do. Of course not. And here’s why…
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These operations (the illegal telemarketers) are making millions of calls every day. For the TelCo’s this is a windfall. For what possible reason would they want to stop it? The citizenry of this country, of the Commonwealth, are being subjected to these illegal, annoying and potentially fraudulent calls and those in a position to stop them play the impotence card. Or go to the ‘War on Drugs’ playbook to make a publicized ‘hit’ every blue moon so they look like they’re doing something while the whole situation remains a scam. I’m just one of the peasants but there is a simple solution and here it is:
Plan A: Defund the Do Not Call Registry and give me $250K and 1 year. I will put a team of people together that will track these calls to the source and pull their proverbial plug. No, I didn’t think that would fly. So here is the more palatable, ‘politically correct’ plan…
Part 1: It has been repeatedly established that these calls are illegal (for a variety of reasons). The TelCo’s are knowingly facilitating this illegal activity and for that they are complicit in the same way a bank is liable for laundering drug money or a construction company for hiring illegal labor. But the TelCo’s are HUGE political donors. So the question is, are our politicians willing to put their constituency ahead of donors? Would our politicians have the political fortitude and backbone to make the TelCo’s liable for their part in this illegal activity by enacting legislation that fines them $1,000 for every such call with $500 going to the aggrieved party?
Part 2: These telemarketers are using phone number ‘spoofing’ software and/or services to camouflage the originating phone number. They use the numbers of agencies, neighbors, or randomly generated numbers based on your own number and they change them frequently in case one is able to block the numbers or ‘wises-up’. There is NO legitimate purpose of ‘spoofing’ a phone number and no reason the use of this tactic should be legal in this or any other State.
In summary, I am proposing that you draft legislation that hold TelCo’s operating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts liable for illegal telemarketing operations using their networks. A consumer would need only report that they are receiving such calls, the date and time of the call, and the displayed number and it would be the responsibility of the TelCo to investigate and block all future calls. Any subsequent calls are subject to the aforementioned $1,000 fine with $500 going to the aggrieved party. This same legislation would define the use of telephone number ‘spoofing’ as commercial fraud with relevant penalties attached.
I appreciate your having taken the time to read this and sincerely hope that it receives serious consideration. Those out-of-touch with the ‘little guys’ may see this as nonsense and a mere inconvenience to those of us receiving these calls. But the findings of trial courts across the country would seem to disagree. This is a problem. Consumers are being defrauded. The solution outlined above will work if TPTB care.
originally posted by: jtma508
a reply to: Iamthatbish
Did you read the entire (admittedly long) post?
Helping to provide businesses with an affordable telemarketing solution, while helping to give convicted felons a second chance at life.