Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canada's Do Not Call List

Today is the day Canada's DO NOT CALL (DNCL) list comes into effect. If you register your phone number with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, telemarketers will not be allowed to call you without breaking the law ($15,000 fine).

Unfortunately there are some notable exceptions ...
There are certain kinds of telemarketing calls and faxes that are exempt from the National DNCL, including those made by or on behalf of:
  • registered charities seeking donations
  • newspapers looking for subscriptions
  • political parties and their candidates, and
  • companies with whom you have an existing commercial relationship; for example, if you have done business with a company in the previous 18 months––such as a carpet-cleaning company––that company can call you
Telemarketers making exempt calls must maintain their own do not call lists. If you do not want to be called by these telemarketers, you can ask to be put on their do not call lists. They are obliged to do so within 31 days.
The new legislation that comes into effect today stipulates how telemarketers are supposed to behave when you are called.
Among other things, telemarketers must:
  • identify who they are and, upon request, provide you with a fax or telephone number where you can speak to someone about the telemarketing call
  • display the telephone number that they are calling from or that you can call to reach them, and
  • only call or send faxes between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekends
Telemarketers must not use Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device (devices that dial telephone numbers automatically and deliver a pre-recorded message). However, these devices can be used by police and fire departments, schools and hospitals, as well as for appointment reminders and thank you calls.
You can put your phone number on the list at DNCL or by calling the toll-free numbers 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889).


  1. And, as expected, it doesn't work.

    Several attempts to register, not once has it gone through.

    That's government service for you!

  2. Nice try, maybe the next time...
    Two basic problems - exceptions (political parties???) and identifying the caller. Are you going to investigate who is bothering you? Are you going to prove it? How are we going to fight unfair acting, like aggressive stupid marketing under your competitor's name?
    I am afraid we can't be "protected". Only way how to fight this is to ignore it completely - if there will be respond from customers, there will be no phone marketing...
    Take care

  3. The loopholes sound similar to the ones in the U.S. do not call list.

  4. "Two basic problems - exceptions"

    Yeah, gotta hate that one. It should be simple - I choose to do business (donate, volunteer, etc) with you and then you can call me.

    I.e. don't call me, I'll call you.

    "...and identifying the caller"

    This isn't that big of an issue - contrary to what many believe there is no such thing as an anonymous phone call. The phone company has a complete record of all phone call routings. You can have caller ID blocked, but the phone company knows who made the call and those records can be accessed as part of legal proceedings.

    VOIP may be an exception to that...

    "How are we going to fight unfair acting, like aggressive stupid marketing under your competitor's name?"

    This is already illegal, and companies can sue if a marketer imitates them.

  5. IOptOut covers some of the exceptions with its own do not call list: http://ioptout.ca/
    It's a project by Ottawa law professor Michael Geist.