Canada’s Do Not Call System Good but Flawed

Do Not Call
Canada’s much anticipated Do Not Call system (aka The End of Telemarketers) finally launched earlier this week as two million people registered during the first 60 hours.

The response was so enthusiastic that the Web site, which is operated by Bell Canada, crashed. And while people who managed to register their telephone numbers should be pleased, it does not mean the end of telemarketers calling you.

This is because the exemption list seems to be a mile wide and a mile deep. It includes:

- Canadian registered charities;
– Political parties, riding associations and candidates; and
- Newspapers of general circulation for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions.

You’ll also continue to get calls from organizations that you have a relationship. This includes companies that you have:

- Purchased, leased, or rented a product or service in the last eighteen (18) months from the telemarketer;
- You have a written contract with the telemarketer for a service that is still in effect or expired within the last eighteen (18) months; and/or
- You asked a telemarketer about a product or service within the last six (6) months.

And, there’s more. Telemarketers can still call you if they have:

- Your permission on a written form, electronic form, or an online form; or
- Your verbal permission.

So, if you think that eating dinner will involve fewer interruptions, guess again!

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  • David

    I already get those calls where its like “you have a call, do you accept?” And then it ends up being a telemarketer. I was like “you gotta be flippin’ kidding me!”

    Now I just hang up when I hear that prompt.

  • Ken Dyck

    Michael Geist’s iOptOut ( sounds like it could help with the exceptions. As I understand it, companies are required by law to respect any person’s direct request to be dropped from their call lists. iOptOut automates the process by generating requests and emailing them to a list of companies that you would like to leave you alone.

  • Chris Schmitt

    Earlier this week I heard a DJ on an Ottawa radio station suggest that the DNC was a call blocking list, i.e. put yourself on the list and the LEC will block calls from that telemarketer. She couldn’t be further from the truth.

    At least it’s better than nothing.


    Canadian Telemarketers need to implement TELEBLOCK so they can weed out the non purchasers from the purchasers of telemaketing products. TELEBLOCK would definitely be an advantage to these companies.

  • Addison

    Don’t be so naive. The only rules listed that are not required by normal companies in doing normal business is the one about newspapers and the one about “verbal consent”. All the other stipulations you mentioned are required by businesses to operate, or can be avoided by common sense.

    What if you cancel your service and don’t pay your last phone bill? Technically the call you receive asking you to pay it back could fall under the rules of this law, but not with the stipulation of “- You have a written contract with the telemarketer for a service that is still in effect or expired within the last eighteen (18) months;”

    This law is a good thing and will keep millions of middle eastern people from relentlessly calling at all hours.