Archive for 1st October 2008
The Canadian National Do Not Call List is finally live – several years behind the rest of the civilized world.
Be sure to register all your personal phones, faxes etc here
Not that I think it’s going to make a heck of a difference – there are too many exemptions.
Political parties are exempt. Obviously a hot-topic at the moment, we had three calling “for our support” last weekend. You couldn’t really imagine them limiting their own right to cold-call you could you?
Charities are exempt. No objection to that.
Organizations with an existing business relationship are exempt. Fair enough – although they’re still able to call you for eighteen months after your last dealings with them. Seems excessive but it’s the same length as used by the US list.
Newspapers selling subscriptions are exempt. This one I don’t understand – how is this different from any other company selling a product? It’s not an exemption in the US list. Are Canadian newspapers much better lobbyists than their US counterparts?
Surveys and polls are exempt too. The CRTC says that these are exempt “because the caller is not asking you to purchase, lease or rent products or services”. So what about “good evening sir, I’m conducting a survey. If we could replace your windows for $299 each, how many would you want to replace? Five, six, seven?”. Yes, believe it or not, I had exactly that call in the UK. The US list specifically says “Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry” but that clause isn’t in the Canadian FAQ (I haven’t checked the actual act). I can see some dodgy companies wrapping their sales spiel in words like this to try and make you think it’s legitimate.
The other big uncertain area is calls from other countries. At the end of the day, there’s little point in a company calling you if that company exists only in another country. But a Canadian company might be prepared to hire a foreign call centre if it got them around the rules. The US legislation says “If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas professional telemarketer, that U.S. company may be liable for any violations by the telemarketer”. Can anybody find a similar clause on the Canadian website? I can’t. Given that it’s cheaper for me to call the UK than the other side of BC, this might be a problem.