Even though the national do-not-call list takes effect next month, some Missouri telemarketers are not concerned. Megan Clarke explains.
Starting October 1st, telephone solicitors cannot call 48 million phone numbers or risk paying up to $11,000 in fines. But Columbia telemarketing company, Business Response Inc. is not worried.
Surprisingly the Human Resource Manager Jeffrey Johnson says the restrictions will be beneficial.
"IT ACTUALLY HELPS OUR BUSINESS BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE REQUESTING TO BE ON THE LIST WERE PROBABLY NOT LIKELY TO BE INTERESTED IN ANYTHING THAT WE WERE SELLING ANYWAY. IT REMOVES THOSE PEOPLE FROM THE PROCESS OF US CALLING THEM AND ALLOWS US TO FOCUS MORE CLOSELY ON THOSE WHO MAY HAVE AN INTEREST."
Johnson says that because his company is also a customer service center, the do-not-call list will not impact the company as much as a regular telemarketing firm.
By: Megan Clarke
State Capital Bureau
Even though the national do-not-call list takes effect on the first of October, some telemarketing firms show no concern. Others have already felt the impact. Megan Clarke explains.
NAT: phone ringing, "
Calling Lohman Springs Telemarketing firm in Jefferson City, I reach carpet store owner Tom Riley. Thinking I have the wrong number, Riley explains that he used to own the telemarketing firm. He knows too well the effects of a no-call list. Riley quit the telemarketing business after Missouri implemented a statewide no-call list in 2001.
"WITH THE CURRENT ATMOSPHERE THERE IS JUST NOT A LOT OF BUSINESS OUT THERE FOR THAT INDUSTRY. AND FRANKLY I CAN'T FIND THE HELP."
Having a small firm in a small city, Riley says it was difficult to abide by the state's no-call list without the technology and software that bigger national telemarketers use. Before closing, his employees were using phone books.
Riley says it will be hard for the small telemarketing firms to keep up with the national no-call list.
"IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR ANY SMALL FIRMS TO BE ABLE TO DO ANY WORK. YOU EITHER HAVE TO INVEST IN A LOT OF SOFTWARE TO GENERATE YOU CALLS OR YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION."
The national do-not-call list will restrict telemarketers from calling over 48 million phone numbers that are already registered. If a firm does call any of the numbers after October 1, it risks paying up to $11,000 in fines.
Business Response Incorporated is a larger, national telemarketing firm in Columbia, Missouri. Surprisingly, the Human Resource Manager says the restrictions will be beneficial for his company.
"IT ACTUALLY HELPS OUR BUSINESS BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE REQUESTING TO BE ON THE LIST WERE PROBABLY NOT LIKELY TO BE INTERESTED IN ANYTHING THAT WE WERE SELLING ANYWAY. IT REMOVES THOSE PEOPLE FORM THE PROCESS OF US CALLING THEM AND ALLOWS US TO FOCUS MORE CLOSELY ON THOSE WHO MAY HAVE AN INTEREST."
Johnson says that because his company is also a customer service center for nationwide companies, the do-not-call list will not impact Business Response Incorporated as much as a regular telemarketing firm.
Right now Johnson says that the firm has no plans to cut jobs.
"WE HAVE NO IMPENDING JOB LOSSES PLANNED. WE HAVE NO DOUBT THAT IT WILL IMPACT OUR INDUSTRY, BUT MUCH OF WHAT OUR COMPANY DOES IS NOT EFFECTED BY THE DO NOT CALL LIST BECAUSE WE DO A LOT OF INCOMING CALLS WHERE THE CUSTOMER CALLS US."
Tom Riley has no plans to start up his telemarketing firm again. For now, the only calls he makes is to his carpet and upholstery customers.