CRTC fines five companies $640,000 for violating telemarketing rules

Ian Hardy

March 10, 2016 3:11pm

The CRTC is back in action protecting Canadians from frustrating telemarketers. Five companies have been fined a total of $643,500 for making unsolicited calls to Canadians with numbers registered on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).

The companies – three Canadian-based companies and two Indian-based call centres – were masking their identity as being reps from Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or Government of Canada officials. The business were selling anti-virus software and requesting callers give remote access to their computer to install the malicious software.

The Canadian companies are Thee Future Web Ltd., which was fined $194,000, 8166200 Canada Inc. with a $76,000 fine, and NextGen Webstore, with a levy of $56,000. The India-based call centres were issued a notices of violation and fined to the tune of $317,500.

Manon Bombardier, CRTC Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, stated, “when making calls to Canadians, companies must follow the telemarketing rules, regardless of where they are located. As this investigation shows, we are prepared to use all the tools at our disposal to protect Canadians from unwanted telemarketing calls which originate in Canada or abroad.”

  • Ryan

    I feel like I want to work for the CRTC

    • El Capitan Morgan

      Do us a favor, sir! If you ever work for CRTC, please increase the fines of these bastards! I felt that they never learn their lessons.

  • FTR_Part_deux

    I just went to the DNCL page to register my number, but was greeted to a detailed explanation what happens when you provide your number and information to the DNCL database. Essentially, they collect your info and then the “may” disclose what you provided to telemarketers to put you on its DNCL. So by then, the telemarketers actually have your info. Does this make sense? It sounds counter-intuitive to me.

    From the page:
    In order to register on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) personal information will be collected, used and disclosed by the National DNCL Operator in order to register, verify and de-register residential, wireless, fax or VoIP telephone number(s) on the National DNCL. The numbers registered by consumers on the National DNCL will be disclosed to telemarketers and clients of telemarketers and other subscribers to the National DNCL to prevent telemarketing calls to those numbers. The numbers may also be disclosed, on a confidential basis, by telemarketers and clients of telemarketers and other subscribers to the National DNCL to another person involved in supplying the subscriber with services to enable compliance with the National DNCL Rules.

    In addition, personal information will be collected, used and disclosed by the National DNCL Operator, the CRTC and/or its Complaints Investigator Delegate in order to investigate complaints regarding violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, to administer and enforce these rules, and for audit and quality assurance purposes. Personal information may also be disclosed to Canadian and/or foreign law enforcement agencies for the purpose of administering or enforcing any law or carrying out a lawful investigation.

    • Jesus McDongswoggle

      Once again, the CRTC doesn’t really care about us

    • PT

      They do care of Robellus. LOL!

    • awhite2600

      I added a work cell phone to the DNCL about two years ago. Unsolicited calls began almost immediately after. The calls have since stopped. Coincidence? I think not.

    • hardy83

      I added my cell and have no issues from spammers, aside from Scotia calling me almost every day to hawk their life insurance on me.
      That is allowed though apparently because I am one of their customers….

    • LeTricolore

      I assume they’d have an internal DNCL that you could ask them to add your number to?

    • Kevin Valencourt

      It’s a catch 22. They mean well at the CRTC, they have to openly provide said list to any call centre. It’s the BAD ones that use it against them.

    • gommer strike

      Yes that’s correct. You see – in order for the system to work, the CRTC has to provide a list of numbers(our numbers) to the companies in question. For how would they know, who they’re not allowed to contact, if the CRTC doesn’t provide the list?

      But of course in providing the list, the CRTC handed them a goldmine – until of course, the scammer are fined.

  • Andrew English

    Fines need to be steeper.

    • Brad Fortin

      I’ve always thought the fines should be proportional to the company or individual’s gross revenue. A $200,000 fine is peanuts to a company that generates that much revenue in a few hours/days/weeks from scams. A 50% of revenue fine, on the other hand, would definitely deter future scammers.

  • Jim__R

    Is there any chance the CRTC will actually be able to collect fines from the 2 companies based in India?

    • awhite2600

      I doubt it.

    • Alphax45

      I’d wager you can teach cats physics before the fines show any results at all

    • PT

      In theirs wet dream, of course!

  • silverfox007

    Am I reading this correctly? They are getting fined for calling ppl on the DNC list, but not for scamming ppl?

    • Cornfed710


    • LeTricolore

      I don’t think the CRTC has any say in that. Other agencies definitely should look into it, though.

  • Although the VoIP calling has given an edge over the traditional phone system, but then there have been organizations that have been over doing it making the customers or potential customers irritated.
    VoIP has somewhat been losing its image from the people’s perspective as everyone using it has to pay for the sins of others as well.

    Although according to the data by The Real PBX (a VoIP service provider) there has been a handsome increase in the number of people opting for VoIP and is supposed to grow at an accelerating rate for more than a decade.

  • David

    “were masking their identity as being reps from Microsoft, the U.S.
    Department of Homeland Security, or Government of Canada officials.”

    Telemarketing fines are great, but these people should be thrown in jail for fraud and probably a dozen other offenses.

  • Garrett Cooper

    The DNCL is simply a list of real numbers for people to purchase. This whole thing has been a sham. It’s not like any of those fines go back to the people who were bothered. Complete joke.

  • Do Do

    1, why are the fines so low and why don’t they include jail time
    2, I don’t believe they actually ever collect the $