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Are Sales Calls a Brand of Antisocial Behavior?

May 26, 2016
By Michelle Amodio - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Telesales and at-home sales visits are being labeled as a new form of antisocial behavior, at least according to survey responses coming out of Scotland. In Dumfries and Galloway, residents are blaming callers, spammers, and junk mail solicitors for their woes, including some financial mistakes.

Of the 1,000 participants, 92 percent reported receiving unwanted calls, whereas 68 percent received junk mail. 50 percent cited suspicious emails and 43 percent experience door-to-door sales. 50 people admitted to handing over money, only to later regret the transaction due to its suspicious solicitation.

“These commercial activities are becoming recognized as a form of antisocial behavior and can lead to significant levels of financial harm as well as a high degree of annoyance,” said Harry Thomson (News - Alert), a local services manager, according to the Daily Record.

Antisocial in this instance is the true meaning of the word; it’s a pattern of disregard for the rights of others, and these solicitors are no strangers to this type of contempt.

Basically, respondents have fallen victim to some type of scam.

The survey conducted in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership is a small step to combatting the problem, simply by having a better understanding of it on the local level. What is being done with the information is unknown, but the responses have at least opened a line of communication to combat the problem.

Here in the U.S., there are measures of protection when it comes to consumers. Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations consists of a collection of consumer protection regulations declared by the Federal Trade Commission. It is the FTC (News - Alert)'s mission to protect consumers from deceptive sales tactics and high-pressure sales pitches in their homes. Commercial telemarketers are regulated by federal and state laws that establish curfews, do-not-call lists, and other requirements aimed at protecting consumer privacy.

Telemarketing is regulated at the federal level by two statutes: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR (News - Alert)).

Lawsuits have flooded the courtrooms regarding TCPA violations and other related crimes, many of which have landed in favor of the consumer.

Before any transactions occur, it’s always good practice to educate yourself, and always be aware of monetary exchanges. There are laws that can protect you, but as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi