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The Challenge of Enforcing the Do-Not-Call List Against Foreign Telemarketers

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Monday April 22, 2013
Last October, the CRTC announced that it was taking action against two India-based companies for violating Canada's do-not-call list. The action against Pecon Software Limited was particularly noteworthy, as the Commission ordered a stop to the violations and payment of $495,000. Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer was quoted as saying that "foreign-based telemarketers have been put on notice that they must comply with our rules when calling Canadians."

The tough talk was welcome, but months later, the CRTC has struggled to get Pecon Software to pay up. Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay asked the government to provide an update on the action and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore provided the following update to the House of Commons on Friday:

Mr. Speaker, with respect to (a), the fine of $495,000 to Pecon Software Ltd., the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, CRTC, issued a notice of violation on October 2, 2012. In order to comply with international service requirements, the CRTC filed the documents with the Indian government’s Ministry of Law and Justice, the central authority for extrajudicial service of documents. The CRTC cannot proceed with these matters legally until Pecon Software Ltd. has been legally served. According to the Convention for Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, the Indian central authority is required to provide the CRTC with an affidavit attesting to the fact that they have legally served the documents to Pecon Software Ltd. The documents were received by the central authority in India on October 5, 2012.

The CRTC is now working with the Canadian High Commission in India to facilitate communications with the ministry and ensure the service of documents. Once the Indian ministry has attested to the fact that the documents have been served, Pecon Software Ltd. will have 30 days to pay the penalty or file representations with the CRTC.

In other words, more than six months after the CRTC filed the necessary documents in India, it is still not clear whether the company has even been served with them. That isn't the CRTC's fault, but it does illustrate the challenge of enforcing the do-not-call list against foreign telemarketers which may involve more bark than bite.
Comments (13)add comment

maebnoom said:

...
Not surprised at all.

For this kind of thing to work, we need to do more than talk.
April 22, 2013

Brian said:

This is an easy problem to solve...
Until India gets off it's ass and recognizes it's responsibility to global "courtesy", no telephone calls from India into Canada.

Will a bunch of Indian-Canadians be unhappy about not getting calls from family in India? Of course they will. But they can file their complaints to the Embassy of India.
April 22, 2013

end user said:

...
I think telemarketers are scum but if they called from India and they haven't broken any Indian laws they didn't do anything wrong. Why go after them and instead go after the companies that are using their services.

What's next were gonna enforce our laws onto other countries like the US?
April 22, 2013

ZoeAnderson24 said:

...
upto I saw the paycheck which said $9114, I didn't believe ...that...my friends brother could realy earning money in there spare time at there labtop.. there mums best friend started doing this 4 only eleven months and as of now cleared the depts on there place and purchased a brand new Fiat Panda. I went here, All29.com
April 22, 2013

Brian said:

end user
@end user: I don't think you are understanding the issues at hand here. It doesn't matter what the laws are in India because they are breaking laws in Canada when they telemarket into Canada. If they don't want to be held to the laws and standards here in Canada then they can stop telemarketing here. This is not at all like the US running around applying their laws in other countries for actions that happen completely in the other country.

And as I said before, if the Indian government doesn't want to hold these companies responsible when we request they do so for illegally doing business in Canada then Canada can just stop accepting telephone calls from India and the Indian government can see how popular they are with their citizens when their citizens can't reach their family here in Canada.

This is not a strange concept. You were taught it as a child: place nice with the other children or you won't get to play with them at all.
April 22, 2013

Gregg said:

Simple...
Candian company XYZ uses non-conforming telemarketer. Notify XYZ that their using a convicted law breaker and they have 30 days to dump said telemarketer of pay their fine. No Candian company uses rule breaking telemarketer, telemarketer has no reason to call Canadians (they won't work for free, right?).
April 23, 2013

The Cat in the Hat said:

Hit them in the wallet
If they have an existing fine, disallow canadian companies from using their services until the fine is paid or responded to.
April 23, 2013

Anil kumar said:

www.alltechub.com
nice website and nice background color
April 24, 2013

Mark said:

These violators do not respect the law at all.
This problem with unsolicited calls is getting out of hand. As a matter of fact, the number of consumer complaints posted at http://www.callercenter.com everyday seems to increase. It's just terrible to realize that these violators do not respect the law at all.
April 25, 2013

AllCallsScreened said:

Telemarketer (from India) said it would cost us $79 to be removed from list -- Hello? Blackmail calling
I basically no longer answer the phone for numbers I don't recognize which can cause a bit of annoyance. But I check the voicemail right after and if it's a person to whom I wish to speak, then I call them right back. My husband prefers a good argument and a bit of name-calling so he was the one who spoke the Indian telemarketer who had the gall to inform him that being removed from a calling list would cost $79. When hubby explained that it was illegal to demand payment for this the guy said he worked for the Cdn gov't. The nerve of these people is quite unbelievable. Plus the number was obviously fake 999-99#-#### (don't recall it all) - which is also (IIRC) against Canadian law.
April 26, 2013

Michael Bian said:

Telemarketing
Telemarketing can be an effective tool for your business and it can be an easy and effective way to increase your profits and promote your product or service.
November 28, 2013

Michael Bian said:

Telemarketing
It is a way to help people from foreign telemarketers.
December 03, 2013

Big Dog said:

I agree with Comment
Why couldn't the phone/internet providers create a monitored gateway or filter for all calls originating from a specific area code in India or elsewhere. This is our nation and we should have control of what effects us. Outgoing telemarketing is a plague!
January 18, 2014

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