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Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

Ineffective law

August 19, 2002

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To the editor:

Telemarketers rely on the gullibility and good nature of their victims, just as the Attorney General's Office has done with the residents of Kansas. If the telemarketing industry could write its own law for the Sunflower State, it would look like the Kansas No-Call Act.

Kansas No-Call offers no extra protection beyond federal Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act of 1991. After 10 years, it is clear the TCPA was wholly ineffective, even though it is more restrictive and protects cellular telephone numbers. The idea that states need their own no-call laws demonstrates this ineffectiveness quite well.

Despite this, the newer Kansas act copies portions of the federal legislation almost verbatim, right down to the same loopholes and exceptions that allow telemarketers to continue calling legally. Most consumers are unaware of the "prior business relationship" exception in both acts, and the single no-call "mistake" telemarketers can make per year.

With their hopes dashed by impotent, redundant laws like this, the only defense Kansas customers have against the sociopathic behavior of telemarketers is to familiarize themselves with the technical requirements of the current laws, record their own do-not-call requests, and above all, protect their own phone number.

Rob Dewhirst,

Lawrence

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