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December 09, 2013
Violating Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules Now Means Huge Penalties for Companies

By Jyothi Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

Many countries around the world have duly passed the Personal Data Protection Bill, which protects an individual’s personal data from being misused. This is done specifically to protect the data of the citizens from unwanted telemarketing calls and messages.

Recently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has disclosed that Green Shield Windows and Doors Ltd. and Peak Windows and Doors Ltd. have violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications rules and both the companies have ended up paying penalty of $65,000 and $35,000 respectively.

During a thorough investigation, CRTC learnt that both Green Shield and Peak Windows were unsuccessful to subscribe and pay all applicable fees to the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) operators. This resulted in the companies making telemarketing calls to consumers whose numbers were registered on the list.

“We appreciate the cooperation we received from both companies during our investigations," said Lynne M. Perrault, the CRTC's Acting Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the time the investigations took place. "Any company that is involved in telemarketing activities must put appropriate safeguards in place to ensure compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules."

After the paying penalties, Shields and Peak have stopped making telemarketing calls and have also decided that in future they would hire a third party to do the telemarketing on their behalf. The companies have also agreed to implement a comprehensive compliance program with the Commission's assistance.

The Canadian Parliament has given CRTC the job of regulating and supervising the broadcasting and telecommunications systems in Canada. The CRTC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Under its enforcement process, the CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations engaged in telemarketing, which may lead to a settlement that includes a monetary penalty and other corrective measures. The CRTC can also issue warnings and citations, conduct inspections and issue notices of violation.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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