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COMMENTARY | My time is money, and the need to scrutinize every contract from utility bills to grocery memberships is gobbling up more and more of it. New FCC regulations will make businesses get my written permission before making automated "robocalls" to my land line. They aren't supposed to call mobile phones at all. What this means to me is even more time spent poring over all the contracts I deal with in every aspect of my life.
In addition to all the other contract scams, now I have to carefully look over my catalog orders, video rental agreements, travel arrangements, insurance policies and all other contracts for every possible way they could obtain my permission to have their computer call me. Let's see it we can guess how this will look. They could say, "We may contact you from time to time to see how our service is doing," or they could claim that a filled in telephone number implies my consent to automated phone calls.
The truth is there are infinite ways companies could word my consent to receive automated phone calls, on anything I sign. There isn't just one sentence I have to scan for. There isn't a specific form a company has to get me to sign. It could be on anything.
Don't get me wrong. I am glad the FCC regulates telemarketers. I am also glad automated calls will have to give me an easy way to opt out of future automated calls. I just wish they had specified one form that I would have to sign in order to give express permission to have a computer call me.
I imagine all the corporate lawyers rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of adding this consent to every form from magazine subscriptions to girl scout cookie orders. This makes me tired and in dread of all the money I could have been making in the time it took to go over with a fine toothed comb each auto repair request, dry cleaner order and car wash ticket.
I do know this just applies to businesses calling me. I realize that my voter registration card is where politicians and their parties get my number to call for surveys and fundraisers. I am seriously considering entering 000-000-0000 as my phone number on my next voter registration card. I only wish it were that easy to prevent automated calls from telemarketers.