CRTC Halves National Do Not Call List Grace Period

by Istvan Fekete on April 1, 2014

When the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) back in September 2008, it had one clearly defined goal: to prevent telemarketers from calling Canadians who register their home phone, wireless, or VoIP phone numbers.

After 5.5 years of existence, the CRTC has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the privacy of Canadians. The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) had proposed changes to open the door to even greater use of automated calling devices for telemarketing purposes.

In a press release, the CRTC points to the CMA’s suggestion to make automated calls without having express consent when there is an existing business relationship. The CRTC considers that the existing rules are efficient in reducing undue convenience to Canadians, and that telemarketers must have their express consent before making these types of calls.

After reviewing the current status of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, the CRTC has made several modifications to the rules to make sure telemarketers respect the privacy of Canadians who wish not to be disturbed in their homes: “When Canadians make a request to be placed on a telemarketer’s internal do not call list, that telemarketer will now have 14 days to update their information and remove these numbers from their calling lists. This shorter grace period, which used to be 31 days, means that Canadians will stop receiving telemarketing calls more quickly once they have made their wishes clear to a telemarketer.”

“In addition, telemarketers using automated calling devices to make an unsolicited call will now be required to briefly identify the purpose of their call at the beginning of the communication. This will enable Canadians to decide right away if they want to continue with the call.”

“Lastly, telemarketers must make sure that the contact information, such as a telephone number or address, provided during a call remains valid for a minimum of 60 days. There was no validity period for this information previously.”

As of the end of March, 2014, Canadians have registered more than 12 million phone numbers with the National Do Not Call List. The CRT investigations have resulted in close to $3.6 million in penalties issued and paid by telemarketers to the Receiver General for Canada, and $741,000 in other payments, the CRTC press release highlights.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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