CRTC announces that Rogers Communications has made a $275,000 payment for its use of automated calling devices without consent

by Jeff Wiener on March 25, 2011

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced yesterday that it has reached a settlement with Rogers Communications over its use of automated calling devices. Rogers was using these devices to notify its prepaid mobile customers of how they could purchase more minutes to avoid a service interruption.

“This latest investigation reinforces our commitment to protecting the privacy of consumers and educating businesses about their responsibilities,” said Masood Qureshi, the CRTC’s Senior Manager of Telemarketing Regulation. “We are pleased that Rogers is working to address our concerns and changing its telemarketing practices.”

Rogers has not admitted fault with regard to its use of automated calling devices. However, upon being made aware of the CRTC’s concerns, the company voluntarily undertook to:

– immediately cease making these types of calls to its prepaid mobile customers without obtaining their prior express consent
– make a monetary payment of $175,000 to the École polytechnique de Montréal and $100,000 to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and review its compliance policies to ensure ongoing adherence with the CRTC’s
rules relating to automated calling devices.

The CRTC applies the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. According to the established enforcement process, the CRTC can discuss corrective actions with
telemarketers, which may lead to a settlement that includes a monetary penalty or monetary payment. The amount of Rogers’s payment is proportionate to its overall share of the prepaid mobile market.

To date, the CRTC has collected over $1.8 million in penalties on behalf of the Receiver General for Canada in addition to over $740,000 in payments to post-secondary institutions.

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{ 1 comment }

RogersElise March 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi!

I am Elise from Rogers social media team. You already shared some of the background on this matter and I wanted to add a little more.

The calls in question were indeed to tell some pre-paid customers that their service would be interrupted if they didn’t purchase more minutes. We believe we followed the rules but have voluntarily stopped these calls since there seems to be some uncertainty in the interpretation. We also decided to avoid the time and expense of going to Court and to come to a settlement that the CRTC has agreed upon.

As you mentioned, $175, 000 was donated to the Ecole polytechnique de Montreal and $100,000 to the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

If you have any questions, you can reach me directly on Twitter where I am @RogersElise – or ask me here 🙂

Elise

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