There is considerable media attention today on tomorrow's launch of the National Do-Not-Call List. Starting tomorrow, Canadians will be able to register up to three phone numbers on the DNCL. Organizations will have 31 days to abide by the request. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to $15,000. Bell Canada is running the list, while the CRTC will enforce it.
As regular readers know, I have dubbed the list the do-not-hesitate-to-call list given the large number of exceptions. Indeed, some estimates indicate that 85 percent of telemarketing calls will be exempt under the DNCL. These include exemptions for political parties, charities, survey companies, newspapers, and business with a prior business relationship (which is very broadly defined). Moreover, there are jurisdictional problems with the DNCL since it only applies to (or can only be enforced against) Canadian telemarketing practices.
Notwithstanding the exceptions, the law includes a crucially important requirement on exempt organizations. With the exception of survey companies, all other exempt organizations must maintain their own internal DNCL. That means that Canadians can specifically opt-out of exempt organization telemarketing calls and the organization will be required to abide by the request (failure to do so brings the same potential penalties). If you don't want further calls, register on the National DNCL and take the opportunity to ask that your number be placed on the internal DNCL for exempt organizations. Alternatively, iOptOut.ca, which I launched earlier this year and which the CRTC has ruled is enforceable, makes it easy to opt-out of many exempt organizations with a few clicks. In the coming days, iOptOut, which has been used by more than 50,000 people, will be expanding the database of included organizations and will be launching a French language version.