Stricter Rules for Telemarketers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has passed new rules regarding telephone calls made by telemarketers. Some of these rules relate to “do not call” lists.

A “do not call” list must be maintained by the telemarketer and remain active for three years. If, during the call, the called party asks to be put on a “do not call” list, this request must be processed without requiring the called party to do anything further. If the call is made by an agent, calling on behalf of a client, the agent must ask the called party if the called party’s name should be on the agent’s “do not call” list, the client’s “do not call” list or both “do not call” lists.

As of October 1, 2004, the telemarketer must give a unique registration number for confirmation purposes to each called party who requests to be added to the “do not call” list.

A toll-free telephone number must be provided by the telemarketer regardless of whether the called party requests it. The telemarketer must be available at the toll-free number to deal with questions about the call.

The United States has a national “do not call” registry and U.S. law requires telemarketers to search the registry every three months and avoid calling any phone numbers that are on the registry. A telemarketer who disregards the U.S. national “do not call” registry could be fined up to US$11,000 for each call. The CRTC has stated that a Canadian national “do not call” registry is a good idea, but advised that it does not have the tools to enforce it properly.

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