The Instigator
GaryBacon
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
DucoNihilum
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Telemarketing should be banned

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/18/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,542 times Debate No: 4087
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (14)

 

GaryBacon

Pro

Many people are receiving unwelcome phone calls from solicitors, and it is simply wrong. The telemarketing companies have found loopholes in the "Do Not Call" registries, or have even knowingly and unlawfully violated such state administered acts.

It is time to ban telemarketing and make it illegal.
DucoNihilum

Con

DucoNihilum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
GaryBacon

Pro

Those that care to look at my previous debates can clearly see that I never tear into my opponent for forfeiting a round. However, upon looking at my current opponent's previous debates, it is clear that he is notorious for not posting arguments within the allotted time.

This now leaves me with a dilemma. In the past, I would continue posting arguments to support my point of view and practically ignore the forfeiture. But should all of the rounds be forfeited, I will actually repost this topic to debate someone else.

Therefore, I will not post any arguments this round. Should my opponent post an argument in the next round, I will respond and hope that my arguments do not exceed the character limit.
DucoNihilum

Con

First and foremost, I must apologize for my forfeit. I have been somewhat busy with school lately (I'm taking summer classes) and to be honest my procrastination and laziness may have taken some effect on this too.

I begin.

While I agree that telemarketing can be annoying, an important right for people in the United States, and across the world is the right to free speech. This right to free speech includes the right to call people up, advertising your product(s). I do not think that telemarketers should have unlimited power to call you, at some point calls eventually become harassing. There is a simple solution to this problem, even more simple than a national do not call registry. It's called a "Do not call list". A company who calls you to solicit products must honor your request to put you on their do not call list if you so ask, and they are not allowed to call you any more. If they choose to call you anyway, it is the right of the individual to sue the telemarketing corporation for several hundred, if not thousand dollars. This is a relatively easy process that just about anybody could do. This problem is already relatively solved, and we should not ban it outright simply to spite corporations who want nothing more than to sell their products.
Debate Round No. 2
GaryBacon

Pro

The first amendment states as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

From this you infer a bizarre notion. To you, this seems to state that it is acceptable to invade someone else's privacy, even while they are in their own home. The first amendment makes no such claim.

While it does state that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, nowhere does it state that others should be forced to hear said speech.

In your argument you state "I do not think that telemarketers should have unlimited power to call you, at some point calls eventually become harassing."

With this I wholeheartedly agree. The problem is that the telemarketers have already crossed the line. They do call at inconvenient hours, they do have power to call total strangers whenever they feel like it (which is pretty close to unlimited), and their phone calls have become harassing to many individuals.

In my opening argument I mentioned that the "Do Not Call" registries are ineffective. On this point you wish to split hairs and distinguish between a "Do Not Call" registry and a "Do Not Call" list. I will accept this distinction. However, this is not a simple solution as you claim.

In theory, you are correct in stating that telemarketers cannot call someone on this list. You are also correct "in theory" when you state "A company who calls you to solicit products must honor your request to put you on their do not call list if you so ask, and they are not allowed to call you any more."

The problem is that things that should occur in theory do not occur in practice. Here is a link to an article from The Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com...

In this article it states that the majority of people on the Do Not Call list still receive telemarketing calls.

Here is an additional survey done by AARP. It also serves to show that the Do Not Call lists are ineffectual.

http://assets.aarp.org...

Your other solution was to tell them to not call anymore. You claim that they MUST honor this request. Unfortunately, the telemarketers also failed to receive this message. Here is a story where someone did request to be removed and it failed to work. He called up ABC News to get it stopped.

http://abclocal.go.com...

You also claim that the individual can sue if the telemarketers do not honor the request. That much is true, but when the caller ID only shows "unknown name, unknown number" it can be hard to know which telemarketer violated the request and consequently which one to sue.

Furthermore, in order to sue in the first place, you have to keep extensive phone logs as proof. Why should I or anyone else have to go through all of this trouble to stop a stranger from calling me?

Here is an article from the New York Times:

http://query.nytimes.com...

In it, John J. Miller states

"Current law already requires telemarketers to remove names from call lists upon request. I've been doing this for years, but the phone keeps ringing. When I ask a caller not to try me again, the response is usually a click.

By refusing to honor these appeals, a telemarketer risks being sued, but a consumer's success in court requires keeping extensive phone logs, and damages are limited -- $500 is the usual amount. There are people who sue successfully, but it sounds like an awful lot of trouble for those irritated at telemarketers for robbing them of family time in the first place."

I could not agree more. The time it takes to sue, keep phone logs, and go to court are almost not worth it for the average $500. If I had my druthers, I'd rather receive no telemarketing calls than be forced to go through this whole song and dance.

Now in your argument, you mention the first amendment and rights. I am a huge advocate of rights. But something that should be understood is that rights are supposed to pertain to everyone equally.

Crank calls have been made illegal by many states. In essence, telemarketers can be considered crank callers in my opinion. It is a total stranger calling you, and saying things that you don't want to hear. But the joke is on us, because while any other individual making such a call can get in trouble with the law, the telemarketers are exempt.

Furthermore, if any individual called and pestered like telemarketers after being repeatedly told not to, they could be arrested for harassment. But not telemarketers. The best you can get from them is a measly fine.

So why the unfairness? Why are telemarketers able to get away with these things that normal individuals cannot get away with? Isn't it time we treat telemarketers like everyone else? The behavior of telemarketers would be illegal for everyone else. It is high time that such behavior became illegal for telemarketers as well.
DucoNihilum

Con

Your argument boils down to a few main points, I will address all of those here.

* Telemarketing Is Harassment

* Telemarketing is an invasion of privacy

* Do Not Call lists are ineffective

Telemarketing is no more an invasion of privacy than television commercials, or even people spreading their opinions on the street. You do not /have/ to hear these opinions or these views, however you might happen across it while watching TV, or perhaps walking down the street. The important difference between harassment and free speech is that harassment is when an individual or company PERSISTS in this speech unwanted speech, and you have no way out of it. Telemarketing does not work like this, if you do not want a call from a specific company you simply ask them to put you on their do not call list, and you will no longer hear from that company. An important fallacy you make is referring to "Telemarketers" as a whole group rather than individual corporations. While you may get annoying calls from a different corporation when you already asked one to stop bothering you, that corporation does not necessarily know that you disapprove of telemarketing calls explicitly. They have a right to free speech, to advertise their products as they see fit. If you don't want a call from the corporation bothering you, simply asking will stop the call. The rights of the advertisers to advertise their products should not be banned outright just as free speech, however annoying should not be banned outright. You choose to own a phone or not, just as you choose to walk down that particular street or you choose to watch that particular channel. You have a way out if that particular person is annoying you in telemarketing just as you would be able to simply walk past the person bothering you or watching a different channel. There is no force involved, however annoying it might be.

All of the examples you gave, when examined carefully delt with the National Do Not Call registry, not corporation "Do Not call" lists. "Do not call" lists were not disproven in your rebuttal. In your statement "Furthermore, if any individual called and pestered like telemarketers after being repeatedly told not to, they could be arrested for harassment. But not telemarketers. The best you can get from them is a measly fine." you make an enormous fallacy, that being that you group 'telemarketers' as a whole. If you asked your ex girlfriend to stop calling you and she complied, but another ex girlfriend started calling you would you press charges on the first one, or both of them? Of course not, that wouldn't be just, only a single one is causing the issue and you haven't even asked her to stop. You must ask individual businesses to stop.

If we treated telemarketers, as you say, like everybody else then all people who we might not like would be automatically banned from ever speaking to us, from ever exercising their right to free speech. While you do not have to hear this speech, and you reserve the right to exercise this on the spot, an outright ban is necessarily an outright ban on free speech, not a ban on harassment.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
DucoNihilum
So sorry about the forfeit. I've been procrastinating these debates lately.
Posted by GaryBacon 8 years ago
GaryBacon
6 is way too many to take on at once. I was really hard-pressed when I took on 4 at the same time.

If it's still open after some of your debates end, I'd gladly welcome it. I've seen some of your previous debates and think it would be a good battle.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
I'm definitely considering taking on this debate; however, I'm currently participating in 6 which seems a little extreme lol... good luck though. If no one grabs it I think I'll take a stab at it for sure :)
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