Canada: National Do Not Call List a complete and utter failure

2013-09-06 03:52 AM Comment(s) By Cavan Kelly

If you are one of those Canadians who hopefully registered their home or cellular telephone numbers with the National Do Not Call list, you have no doubt realized that it has had very little effect on the number of unsolicited calls you receive.


No less an authority than Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, in a February 2, 2009 article also published in the Toronto Star, labelled the do-not-call list a “disaster”.

Part of the problem is that the legislation governing the list contains so many exemptions — charities, newspapers soliciting subscriptions, political parties, riding associations, candidates, opinion and polling firms and virtually any organization you’ve done business with in the past 18 months or even asked about a product or service during the past 6 months are all exempt from the regulations. Add to that unscrupulous vendors who outsource their telemarketing activities to off-shore call centres (who are beyond the reach of Canadian laws) and the blatant scam artists whose intent is to defraud you (and are thus not worried about breaking one more law) and you begin to see why your unsolicited call volume remains virtually unchanged. Finally, the law has no teeth. Less than two years into the program, the CRTC had levied $73,000 in fines against companies found to have violated the law and collected a grand total of $250.

Legislation is clearly not the answer to the problem.

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