Canada Gets Serious About Telemarketing Violations

Posted: October 23, 2014

canada_telemarketerThe Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the agency in charge of Canada’s National Do Not Call List and telemarketing regulations, has recently gotten serious about enforcement of their Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Effective April 2014, Canada’s Do Not Call List contained approximately 12 million telephone numbers and was growing by an average of 50,000 numbers per month earlier this year.

Similar to the FTC and FCC in the United States, the CRTC also enforces additional regulations around telemarketing practices; including but not limited to: maintaining internal DNC lists, abandonment rates, solicitation disclosures, displaying of caller ID, and more. In addition to the restrictions, the CRTC provides similar exemptions found in the Do Not Call legislation of the United States. Political calls, surveys, calls from registered charities, business to business calls and telemarketers with established business relationships are generally exempt from the DNC rules. However, please note that entities making only exempt calls are still required to register with the CRTC.

Although the Canadian Do Not Call List has been in effect since June 2006, the CRTC had done little in the way of levying fines and penalties until recently. From 2006 through 2011, there were only 3 enforcement actions of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Since 2012, we have seen approximately 40 enforcement actions, 11 of which occurred since April 1, 2014.
Several recent citations include:

August 19, 2014 – Thrift Magic LP
The Compliance and Enforcement Sector issued a notice of violation to Thrift Magic LP with an accompanying administrative monetary penalty of $250,000 for having made unsolicited telecommunications to consumers whose telephone numbers were on the National Do Not Call List (National DNCL). These calls were initiated while Thrift Magic LP did not have a valid registration or subscription with the National DNCL Operator. In addition to paying an administrative monetary penalty, Thrift Magic LP has agreed to implement a compliance program.

July 22, 2014 – Québec Loisirs ULC
Québec Loisirs has paid a $200,000 penalty for having made telemarketing telecommunications to consumers whose telecommunications numbers were registered on the National Do Not Call List for failing to subscribe to the National DNCL and to pay all applicable fees to the National DNCL Operator. In addition to paying an administrative monetary penalty, Quebec Loisirs agreed to implement a compliance program.

June 9, 2014 – Suitelife Vacations Club Inc.
Suitelife has paid a $20,000 penalty for violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. A CRTC investigation found that Suitelife made telemarketing calls while it was not registered with the National Do Not Call List operator, had not subscribed to the National DNCL, and had not paid all the applicable fees, resulting in telemarketing telecommunications made to consumers’ numbers that were registered on the National DNCL. Suitelife also failed to honor Do Not Call requests from consumers at the time of the calls. In addition to paying an administrative monetary penalty, Suitelife has agreed to implement a compliance program.
Non-compliance with Canadian Telemarketing Rules can result in significant financial penalties and damage to a company’s reputation. PossibleNOW customers making telemarketing calls into Canada and subscribing to Canada’s Do Not Call List can utilize their DNCSolution account to suppress numbers found on the list.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Canada’s telemarketing and Do Not Call requirements. Please contact us at consulting@compliancepoint.com.

Kevin Mayfield

Author: Kevin Mayfield

Kevin Mayfield is a Managing Consultant at CompliancePoint, focusing on US Federal and State consumer privacy law and direct marketing compliance. He is dedicated to keeping his clients updated on the latest changes in the regulatory landscape. He feels his business development and account management experience in a heavily regulated industry is what helps him most in understanding what his clients are facing in their daily marketing efforts as they relate to compliance. Kevin has earned a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP) certification from the Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE), and received his B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia. He enjoys family, fishing, and golf in his spare time.

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