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Recent legislation designed
to prevent unwanted solicitation calls and emails to consumers,
has been a controversial topic for many market research service
providers. Many feel these laws are harming legitimate data
collection and putting a damper on the economy.
Salesdart has examined the impact these new laws have on market
Impact of Recent
Legislation on Market Research
In March 2003, President Bush signed legislation creating a
national telemarketing "Do-Not-Call" Registry. The
DNC Registry applies to anyone who sells goods or services through
interstate phone calls. It includes telemarketers who solicit
consumers on behalf of third-party sellers, and sellers who
provide goods or services to consumers in exchange for payment.
Nearly 50 million Americans have placed themselves on the National
Do Not Call Registry, in an effort to keep the phone solicitors
at bay. What's more, the government's new Telemarketing Sales
Rule requires marketers to undertake the onerous and costly
task of checking their lists against the Do Not Call list each
quarter and purge any proscribed numbers.
There are exceptions, even if the consumer has signed on to
the DNC Registry:
- Sales calls are allowed if a business relationship of
18 months has already been established with the consumer.
- Contact is allowed for up to three months after the consumer
has made an inquiry or submitted an application to a company.
- The consumer may be called if he or she has given written
permission that contact may be made.
However, political organizations, business-to-business companies,
charities and telephone surveyors are exempt from the DNC
legislation. The legislation allows calls to the home from
market research firms that are not selling a product, but
this fact has not been publicized widely, and some firms are
finding that consumers who enrolled are irate about getting
legitimate fact-finding inquiries.
Unfortunately, the public does not understand the difference
between telemarketing calls and research calls. Many research
respondents often request to “be put on your Do Not
Call list.” Recognizing the confusion in the marketplace,
Salesdart has established a business practice to maintain
and administer a DNC list. If a respondent requests to be
put on our DNC list, interviewers explain they are not selling
anything and are strictly interested in the respondent’s
opinion. They emphasize research calls are exempt from the
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