I was very happy to see SB 771, the bill to prohibit unwanted telephone solicitation, pass the Assembly committee (Aug. 22). But I am extremely disappointed with the exemption of politically related telephone calls. During the last several elections, I received many computer-generated calls on behalf of candidates and issues that were entirely recorded messages, even though the Federal Communications Commission mandates that a live person introduce the message.
Nobody seems to care about this type of already-illegal phone call and intrusion on privacy. I am not naive enough to believe this will be changed by any politician. The person being called is not even able to interrupt the recorded message and ask to be placed on the "do-not-call" list. All solicitation calls should be required to include a call-back telephone number.
If Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews (D-Tracy) believes "one person's annoying phone call is the way another person is making a living," she should plant herself firmly in the shoes of those harassed nightly by the telenuisance industry. Yes, the person on the other end of the line may be sincerely trying to earn a living, but I cannot see how he or she is doing so in good faith while incessantly disturbing the evening peace of others. Sorry, that "other person" is making a living on ill-gotten gains in an industry where you check your conscience at the door.
Before a telemarketer completes two sentences, I say, "I'm not interested. Please put me on your do-not-call list," and I hang up.
If they used a statewide do-not-call list, they wouldn't have to waste their time calling me, and I wouldn't be annoyed by their calls. It's a win-win situation.
I can only guess that the "influential business interests" opposing SB 771 believe that they're the exception: If they could call me, they're such good salespeople that I'd not only listen to their pitch, but I'd buy. I have news for them: It ain't gonna happen.