28. Solicitation

Generally, unsolicited direct, personal (namely, door-to-door), electronic (including via telephone, email) advertising should be prohibited except for businesses or other entities who have had a customer-initiated contact with them ending within the past three months, unless such customers have expressly prohibited such contact.  Direct physical mailings should not be restricted.

Door to door residential solicitation should be illegal. At the very least, such solicitation should not be conducted between the hours of sunrise or 8 AM (whichever is later) and sunset or 8 PM (whichever is earlier).
Similarly, telephone solicitations, surveys, courtesy calls, etc., should only call between the hours of 8AM to 8 PM.

All verbal or intrusive solicitational contact (i.e. soliciting in which the solicitor initiates either an interference or verbal or physical contact) in relatively high stress places such as airports, hospitals, courts, etc., should be banned. Solicitors at these locations may use signs or booths that passersby may look at provided such actions do not involuntarily restrict any person from engaging in normal activities or obstruct the normal flow of traffic in such places.

All residential and commercial telephone customers should, by default, never have their telephone numbers on lists compiled by companies who engage in unsolicited telephone advertisements, promotions, propaganda, notices, courtesy calls, announcements, commercials, etc., without their permission. Customers can opt to receive such calls by notifying their telephone company of their desire to allow their telephone number to be distributed to telemarketers upon request. Or customers could notify individual telemarketers directly in order to retain control over which telemarketers may call them. Each telemarketer would be required to check with the telephone companies to insure that they only call the people who have expressly permitted such calls.  The fines for an illegal telemarketing call should be $100 per offense.

Telephone customers should probably also have the option to accept unsolicited telephone calls and charge such callers a fee for each call (perhaps $1) which would be paid directly to the customer receiving the call in the form of a credit towards their current or next telephone bill. The phone company would keep such records and would deduct the amount collected from such calls from the customer’s next telephone bill. As this system matures, telephone customers could charge any price they want and probably even choose which types of telemarketing calls to allow or disallow. Telemarketers would then desire to review such lists more frequently since customers may often decide to change how much they are willing to charge the telemarketers for making calls to customers. However, telephone companies would not be mandated to offer their customers this service in which telemarketers pay them for calls, since this service is mainly a non-critical convenience and which may require new infrastructures and expense for the phone company.


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