Bell’s holiday treat: A $1.3 million fine

The CRTC has slapped Bell with a $1.3 million fine for violating its telemarketing rules. From January to October of 2010, Bell promoted its television, phone and Internet services using third-party telemarketers who placed calls to Canadians whose numbers are on the National Do Not Call List.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in their statement:
“All telemarketers must respect the wishes of Canadians who have registered their telephone number on the National DNCL or requested that a telemarketer include their number on its internal do not call list,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s Chief Telecommunications Enforcement Officer. “Even though the calls in this instance were made by third parties, Bell Canada must ultimately ensure that the rules are followed. We appreciate Bell Canada’s willingness to work with us to address our concerns.”
In another investigation, the CRTC found that Bell also violated their rules about the use of automated calling devices without obtaining prior consent from its customers. Bell has now stopped such a practice and is also making a donation of $266,000 to Concordia University. Bell says it’s not at fault but obviously wants to be pro-active in addressing any concerns the CRTC may have. Good call: $266,000 is a lot less than $1.3 million.
The Nation DNCL (Do Not Call List)
The CRTC has complete information about the list, what it’s for and how you can sign up for the service by visiting their web site. The purpose is to reduce the number of unwanted and annoying calls we get from those pesky telemarketers attempting to pry a few dollars out of our hands.
Registering involves calling 1-866-580-DNCL (866-580-3625) or logging on to and following the required steps. Note that while your telephone number is added to the list within 24 hours, telemarketers have up to 31 days to update their lists with this new information. Consequently, registering is not going to elicit instantaneous results.
Additional information concerning the telemarketing rules
Internal do not call lists
Under the CRTC’s rules, telemarketers must maintain an internal do not call list even if they make calls that are exempt from the National Do Not Call List. If a consumer asks not to be contacted, the telemarketer must add the person’s name and number to its internal list within 31 days.
Automated calling devices
Automated calling devices are used to dial telephone numbers and automatically deliver a pre-recorded message. The CRTC’s Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Rules prohibit telemarketers from using these devices to sell or promote a product or service unless a consumer has consented to be called by them.
They can, however, be used by police and fire departments, schools and hospitals if they have a valid public service message to communicate. Automated calling devices can also be used for appointment reminders and thank you calls.

Click HERE to read more from William Belle.

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