Spam: Do Not Contact Me, Ever
The legislative rush to curb telemarketing and spam makes it hard to sell electronically. Even if you keep your data clean, no silver bullet prevents lawsuits. (Baseline)Its hunting season on marketers, thanks to "Do Not Call" regulation and anti-spam legislation, and companies such as Publishers Clearing House are in the line of fire. The 50-year-old marketer of magazine subscriptions believes it has taken every conceivable precaution to protect customers privacy. Publishers Clearing House refuses to buy or sell customers e-mail addresses, sends no information to those who havent asked for it, and addresses each customer complaint. It keeps precise track of when it has the right to e-mail each customer and how many attempts have been made to remove a name from a mailing list. It even keeps records of all communications. Too bad. "Were confident that were doing the right thing. And were also sure were going to end up in the courts," says Rory Cumming, vice president and general manager of pch.com, Publishers Clearing Houses Web site.
All over the world, companies are bracing for the possibility that angry customersweary of answering phone calls from strange salespeople during their dinner hours and opening e-mail boxes filled with pornographywill test the limits of their right to privacy by filing a lawsuit. The customers may even have the force of law on their side.