Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Brilliant Decision

Over the last few weeks, the media has been reporting incidents of abuse for Canada's "Do Not Call" List. The Globe and Mail reports of Fraudester Abusing the list with impunity.

To bring everyone up to speed, the "Do Not Call" list came into being in the fall of 2008 and the purpose was to give the average person the right to live a life in peace and harmony without the annoying dinner time calls from telemarketers. All a person had to do was register their phone number and peace and quiet would be there's.

By the way, this being the CRTC there are exemptions. For example:
elemarketing calls made on behalf of certain organizations or made for certain purposes as listed below, are exempt from the National DNCL Rules:

* Canadian registered charities;
* political parties;
* nomination contestants, leadership contestants or candidates of a political party;
* general circulation newspapers calling for the purpose of selling a subscription;
* calls to a consumer who has an existing business relationship with the organization;
* calls to a consumer who has given express consent to be called; and
* calls to business consumers.

Otherwise peace was to come to your life. Of course the method of getting the list of telephone numbers that WEREN'T to be called was to be in the form of a list, which a telemarketing company could purchase, so as to update their databank of people they weren't to call. Apparently the list cost $50.00, so obviously the CRTC was to make a few dollars for their own operations.

With such an arrangement, most of us would figure the opportunity for abuse would be almost non-existent. Think again, all they provided for the telemarketers was a list of active and live telephone numbers. Why spend hours hunting down telephone books when all can be yours for a mere fifty dollars. Guess what, the nasty telemarketers who don't care a fig about rules bought up the list, and why not, here was a gold mine of phone numbers. It's kind of like spam email, you will often see a little notice that "If you don't want any further email, just click this link", do that and all you prove is that your email is live. Best way of dealing with spam, get a good spam filter.

So now, Canadians have the privilege through the workings of the CRTC of having even more telephone calls. Brilliant!

Of course, the CRTC doesn't stand for this sort of thing, in fact they have all sort of strong measures in place to deal with the n'er-do-wells. They will:
* If a violation has occurred, the CRTC will generally work directly with the telemarketer to facilitate corrective action on a voluntary basis.

* Options to encourage compliance include:

o A warning letter to the telemarketer identifying the violation and the specific corrective action to be taken; and

o A compliance meeting with the telemarketer, which may be held using teleconference or videoconference facilities, at which the CRTC would discuss the nature of the violation, the number and frequency of complaints, and the corrective action that the telemarketer must take.

* Warning letters and compliance meetings would involve informing the telemarketer that stricter measures will be considered if the corrective action is not taken and/or the violation is repeated, including:

o Imposing a monetary penalty, and

o Publishing the nature of the violation, the name of the telemarketer that committed the violation, and the amount of the penalty on the CRTC's website.

Wow, a sternly worded letter, I have to believe the telemarketers would be shaking in their boots to read that letter. As for the fines:
o the maximum penalty for a violation is $1,500 in the case of an individual and $15,000 in the case of a corporation.

o A violation that continues for more than one day constitutes a separate violation for each day during which it continues.

All this sounds good until you realize, most of the obnoxious telemarketers DON'T LIVE IN CANADA AND SO THESE RULES DON'T APPLY TO THEM.

If you want to know more of how the bad people are dealt with, click here. Got me shaking in my boots, just reading about it.

What can be done? Probably a few things,
1) change your telephone number and send the bill for changing to the CRTC
2) contact Consumer Association of Canada, if enough join and complain perhaps something will get done.
3) Write, phone, email your local MP and ask that the CRTC be dissolved; they have done nothing to protect the average Canadian, they are a worthless government body.

Remember, this is the same group that wanted to control the Internet a few years back.

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