In a rare move The Shrub(TM) has done something that actually pleases me for a change. Namely signing into law a bill that should help cut down on annoying telemarketing calls. Taken from Yahoo! News – Bush Signs Anti-Telemarketing Bill:
WASHINGTON – President Bush (news – web sites) on Tuesday signed legislation creating a national “do-not-call” list intended to help consumers block unwanted telemarketing calls.
The bill allows the Federal Trade Commission to collect fees from telemarketers to fund the registry, which will cost about $16 million in its first year. The do-not-call program should begin operation by summer.
Telemarketers say the registry will devastate their business. The Direct Marketing Association, an industry group, filed a lawsuit against the FTC last month on grounds the registry unlawfully restricts free speech.
Consumers could enroll in the free service via the Internet or a toll-free number. Telemarketers would have to check the list every three months to find out who does not want to be called. Those who call listed people could be fined up to $11,000 for each violation.
Awww. I feel so bad for the telemarketers. OK, so that’s not really true. I might feel bad for them if they were suddenly attacked and dismembered by roving packs of rabid weasels with anger management issues, but only after I’d stopped giggling. The exemption loophole is for “charities, surveys and calls on behalf of politicians”, which can be just as bad as some telemarketers. In fact I was stunned by how many calls we got from politicians which I bitched about previously here in this space and there’s at least one charity that doesn’t seem to understand that I don’t wish to support them so they call to see if I’ve changed my mind at least once every other month despite my asking them to take me off their call list. Still, anything that reduces the volume of calls will at least make me more patient with the rest that get through. Kudos to Bush for being on the right side of an issue for a change.