The CRTC seems to be in no mood to tolerate any violations related to its do-not-call guidelines and it doesn’t matter if the culprits are big guns such as Rogers, Bell or high profile politicians such as the Liberal MP Frank Valeriote.
And yesterday, the regulatory body set the record straight on two Indian companies for breaking Canada’s telemarketing rules. The CRTC found Pecon Software Limited and Avaneesh Software Private Limited guilty of making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Canadians who had registered their numbers on the National Do Not Call List.
Pecon has been fined $495,000, while Avaneesh has been fined $12,000.
These two Indian companies had been under the CRTC’s scanner for quiet some time and the regulatory body worked with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Australian Communications and Media Authority to investigate the allegations. These companies were involved in a larger scam where they would contact consumers and falsely warn them that their home computer was infected with a virus. Unsurprisingly, they would then pitch their online technical support or anti-virus software.
The CRTC is now highlighting this case as an example for foreign-based telemarketers who must comply with the defined rules when calling Canadians.
“We were pleased to work alongside the FTC during its investigation and we applaud its efforts to curb unsolicited calls from foreign-based telemarketers,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s chief compliance and enforcement officer. ”Tracking down individuals and companies who violate telemarketing rules is a global problem. The coordinated actions taken by our agencies today send a strong message that telemarketers cannot use national borders to evade detection or pursuit by enforcement agencies.”
This isn’t the first incident where the CRTC has penalized a foreign telemarketer. Last year, the regulatory body barred two Mexican companies in 2011 from calling Canadians on the Do-Not-Call registry but did not impose any fine. In hindsight, foreign telemarketers targeting Canadian public isn’t a new phenomenon either – numerous similar scams have been exposed since the last five years.
The CRTC is also using this incident to educate the Canadian public about such frauds and encouraging anyone that receives these types of calls to file a complaint immediately.