February 15, 2012

CRTC is asking people to complain more about telemarketers

CANADA - Almost 10 million Canadian residential phone numbers (landline, cellular and fax) are now blocked to Canadian telemarketers (but still reachable by telemarketers operating overseas or in the USA).

However even if you register your number you may still receive calls from people trying to sell you stuff. The problem is people aren't complaining to the CRTC enough.

Since many calls now come from overseas (especially India) having your number on the Do Not Call List doesn't do much...

And the CRTC doesn't bother to investigate complaints unless at least 1 person complains PER DAY about calls from specific numbers.

And a lot of the calls are coming from overseas using fake numbers or multiple rotating fake numbers it makes it very difficult for the CRTC to block incoming telemarketers from overseas.

6 out of 10 people who get in touch with the CRTC complain about abuses of the do-not-call (DNC) rules. Half a million complaints have been filed since the list was set up in fall 2008, but very little action has been taken because telemarketers know the gaps in the rules... and they have a very good idea of how to avoid detection by staying under that 1 complaints per day limit.

Here is a suggestion to CRTC... LOWER THE LIMIT!

Make it 10 complaints per month. And if that isn't good enough, 5 per month. Just keeping lowering the limit until it reaches an optimal level where CRTC staff can do their job and Canadians can feel like the government is actually working for them instead.

About 10% of CRTC complaints are about organizations that are exempt from the telemarketing rules. They include:

• Canadian registered charities

• Political parties and candidates in federal, provincial and municipal elections

• General circulation newspapers calling to sell subscriptions

• Calls to a consumer who has an existing business relationship with an organization (having bought a product in the last 18 months or asked a telemarketer about a product in the last six months)

• Calls to a consumer who has given express consent to be called

• Calls to business consumers

But here is the thing...

Some people don't want to be called at all. Maybe they don't want a newspaper subscription or to donate to charity. Some people just want to be left alone.

If a newspaper or charity is calling several times per week to harass a person it is still harassment and it should still be punished.

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