If you are tired of getting telemarketing phone calls interrupting your dinner hour or your prime-time TV watching, , you can now add yourself to the national Do Not Call Registry.
Since 2004, marketers were required to track people who requested to not be called or not be faxed. But that was done on a company by company basis with each telemarketing company. The Canadian Marketing Association provides a free "do not contact" service, which removes names from its lists upon request, though not all telemarketers are members of the CMA, so this did not stop all calls.
In 2008, the federal government instituted a national Do Not Cal registry, (ironically operated by Bell Canada, the country's largest communications company, who was the sole bidder for the contract). The money to run the list will be paid by the telemarketers themselves, who will be required to register with Bell.
You can request that you be added to the registry by online web form or by calling you the National DNCL Service Line at 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or by a TTY 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889) from the number you wish to remove.
After 31 days, you should be removed from all lists, and will remain on the Do Not Call Registry for 3 years. Ther are some exceptions that are permitted:
Companies that violate the law will face fines of up to $15,000 per call, though the CRTC says the maximum fine will be reserved for deliberate and repeat violators. Keep in mind that the telemarketing industry in Canada generates about $17 billion in sales and employs more than 250,000 people nationwide, so the fines are not out of line.
Bell, which operates the Registry will be responsible for enforcement of the registry and collection of complaints. But since Bell is also one of the country's largest telemarketers, consumer advocates have ensured that the CRTC itself will handle the actual investigations.