Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Do Not Call is Coming

Hi, my name is Christine from Company XYZ, and you have been demographically selected to….(*click*). Ever experienced such a scenario? It’s highly likely that you have, with telemarketing running rampant in Canada. Well, your hopes and prayers to stop being bothered during dinner time, or while your favourite TV show is on might be answered. Today, the CRTC is one step closer to the creation of a National Do Not Call List. If your number is on this list, telemarketers can’t call you.

I’m skeptical as to how well such a list would work: according to a prepared CRTC press release, some callers would be exempt from the list due to the Telecommunications Act. These include: registered charities; political parties; nomination contestants, leadership contestants or candidates of a political party; opinion polling firms; general circulation newspapers; organizations that have an existing business relationship with a consumer; and organizations to business consumers. Pardon my asking, but who exactly is left? Can't pretty much any company find a loophole that would slot them in one of these categories?

For example, my cell phone and cable TV is from Rogers making me an existing Rogers customer. Does this mean one of Rogers Publishing magazines can call me? After all, it is technically the same company when you reach the top of the organizational chart, right? Note: this is just an example: I do not, as it stands, receive any unsolicited phone calls from Rogers!

Nevertheless, if you hate late night calls and prodding tele-sales tactics, I’d advise you get on this list as soon as the opportunity becomes available. The CRTC says that once it has located an independent operator to manage the list, Canadians will be able to add their number to the database at no charge.

I hope whatever company is found to operate this list understands the importance of high security: can you imagine what would happen if such a list was hacked?

1 comment:

melinda.kumar said...

hello christine. we have rolled out this 'do not call register' here in australia...it has really made a difference to dinnertime interuptions, but yes, the unscrupulous ones will still get through every now and then. we have heavy fines for the companies who still make calls to numbers on the register, but how they implement these fines is unknown.