Corporate Business, Indian, Office - Group of Customer Service Executives Attending Calls at a Busy Call Centre

Members get big fines for Do Not Call violations

The Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) has been hitting some of our members with fines ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for violating the rules of the Do Not Call List (DNCL), a provision of the federal Telecommunications Act.  

We received notice from one FVREB managing broker that his office was penalized $15,000 and two of his salespeople, $5,000 each. We don’t know how widespread this is. The fines were issued because the REALTORS® hired telephone marketing companies that claimed they were registered with Canada’s Do Not Call List registry, but they were not.

The CRTC requires that REALTORS® and any telephone marketing companies they hire must be registered with Canada’s DNCL registry. The problem is that many telemarketing companies are not operating within Canada and therefore are outside the reach of Canadian law that requires DNCL compliance.

Some telemarketing companies may claim to be locally based (with names and addresses that appear to be in Canada), however they are actually based overseas in India or the Philippines.

In addition to the requirement for the vendor to be registered, if the calls are made on your behalf, you and your brokerage must also be registered with the DNCL registry. It is not sufficient for just the vendor you hire to be registered.

The managing broker on the receiving end of the surprise fine, says the DNCL registry clearly isn’t working and is wasting public resources. First, because many telemarketing companies don’t obey the DNCL and, secondly, for telemarketers to access telephone numbers they’re allowed to call, costs several thousands of dollars; money that goes to BCE Inc., formally known as Bell Canada – the company the CRTC chose to operate the registry.

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) was adopted in Australia, the US and Canada to give consumers a choice about whether to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls. Find out more by going to the CRTC website here.