Your recent item on direct marketing (The Straight Dope, 9/27) omitted some important information that may be valuable to your readers.

In most cases, telephone solicitations are the result of an existing relationship the consumer has established with an organization. In other instances, the calls may be from organizations that are similar to those the consumer has purchased from or contributed to in the past. Effective telephone marketing relies upon targeting those consumers who would be likely to have an interest in the particular product being offered.

Consumers can control the marketing phone calls they receive in their homes from national telemarketers. Apart from contacting the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)’s Telephone Preference Service, the consumer can request to be placed on a “do not call” list, and the telemarketer must oblige by law to not call the consumer again for up to one year. Nonprofit groups and political organizations are exempt from this law.

For those consumers who wish not to receive telephone sales calls, they may contact DMA’s Telephone Preference Service (TPS) as mentioned in the item. This free service deletes consumer names from most national telephone sales lists. Consumers should be sure to state their complete name, address, and telephone number, including area code. TPS will not affect sequentially dialed computerized calls or calls from local organizations. If consumers do not wish to be called by local organizations, the consumer may want to contact them directly.

Direct Marketing Association

New York, N.Y.