CRTC Claims Misuse of Do-Not-Call List An Urban Myth

CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein delivered a speech this week in which he challenged reports that the do-not-call list is being misused.  Von Finckenstein stated that:

I would like to take this opportunity to deflate an urban myth that has emerged about misuse of the list. There have been allegations that telemarketers based outside of Canada are purchasing subscriptions to the National DNCL only to call the numbers on the list. We have looked into these claims and at this time we do not have any evidence to substantiate them.


  1. Then it’s coincidence
    that myself and many other Canadians just happened to start getting a ton of calls from the “foghorn” guys and the “warranty” guys after signing up for the do-not-call list. At least the FTC busted the warranty scammers.

  2. Tom Traynor says:

    I wonder what world he lives in?
    Most of my spam calls are now ‘no name’, ‘no number’ or originates from the U.S. The volume is up after the DNCL went live. We routinely check our call display now and if the name/number is blocked we ignore the call. My last call from two days ago came from NPA of 202 (Washington) that we just ignored as we do not have any friends/family in Washington.

    Where there is a number and we answer and find out it is spam I do a reverse lookup and again, they are coming from the U.S.

  3. Will Slade says:

    Can we sign him up?
    Enough is enough. At least be prepared to live through your own lies.

  4. ah this again says:

    I can’t confirm the the part about the US lists, but I can confirm that certain Canadian organizations threw out Dr. Geists ioptout registered people.

    I created lists for a certain Canadian organization using US based and Canadian based Directories on Canadian people.

    ioptout was tossed aside even though we were well aware the CRTC said it should be honoured.

    As for the DNCL, it was not applicable to certain Canadian organization. So can’t comment on the DNCL part.

    I have no trouble what-so-ever believing the DNCL lists were used. How they were used is another story though that i don’t know about.

  5. Devil's Advocate says:

    I’ve got news for you, Konrad…
    The real urban myth in all of this would have to be that the CRTC exists for the People.

    Your buddies at Bell, to whom you awarded the contract of operating the DNCL, were pretty much the first ones to violate the DNCL, and continue to do so to this day, despite the bad publicity over it.

    I can tell you first hand, Bell just recently started yet another telemarketing campaign (promoting some INSURANCE scheme!). I continue to get their calls, as do others I’ve talked to, despite the fact that ALL OF US have included Bell in our iOptOut list right from the beginning!

    And, Bell continues, unabatedly, to use AUTODIALING EQUIPMENT in a manner that violates previous and present CRTC ordinances, which maybe YOU, Konrad, were directly responsible for installing?! (Another meaningless bunch of words that Bell can just ignore as it pleases – a lot of good that does.)

    Naturally, you don’t “see” any evidence of calls coming from telemarketers based outside of Canada. I wouldn’t expect you to report anything else, even though thousands of Canadians are complaining about getting them.

    Bell has the technology that would properly address ALL unwanted calls, and has had it for quite some time. If either the CRTC or Bell were actually serious about fixing things, for the good of the People, there would have been some discussion long ago from either one of you about instigating some of the stuff Bell has being holding back, while thumbing its nose at the Canadian consumers for all these years.

    You, Konrad, should become an urban myth.

  6. video of his speach at the Summit
    We got video of this, although a bit muffled you can hear what he actually said. (You’ll have to turn your volume way up):

  7. David Collier-Brown says:

    I can testify I was called,
    … after registering, and by a U.S. travel company.
    Therefor the assertion that it’s false it
    itself false.

  8. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for
    The problems with the do not call list are all a myth. The do not call list is obviously working exactly as planned. All canadians on the list are no longer bothered by unwanted phone calls.

  9. A confession by a financial institution…
    I had never ending calls from a well known financial institution who admitted they used their Boston office to get names from that list and they were not under the Canadian law. But they did remove me from their list at my request.

  10. A lack of evidence
    Does not mean that it isn’t occurring. It simply means that you’ve found no evidence. Aside from Gregg’s posting, there is a lot of indication that it has occurred, given the fact that a number of people only really started to get the calls AFTER registering. It may be coincidence, but given the volume I would tend to think that is unlikely. I know that the first telemarketing call I received on my cell phone was after registering it on the DNCL. So far I have received only one, and therefore can’t conclusively state that it came from the DNCL; it could just as easily have been what used to be referred to as a war-dialer (sort of like the type you saw on the Simpsons episode… it makes a call, increments the number by 1 and dials). In general, however, the DNCL has been useful for me. The volume of calls is way down compared to what it was.

    Devil’s Advocate: Perhaps my understanding is incorrect, but the use of autodialers themselves isn’t illegal; the user of fully automated machines, where you hear a recorded voice providing the pitch, is. If the autodial has you talk to a real person, I understand that is legal. Having not received any of the Bell calls that you are referring to, I am unaware of the nature of those calls.

  11. Some perspective says:

    Not unique to Canada
    This problem is not unique to Canada. It is a simple matter to register with bogus information on the US Do Not Call list, and download up to 5 area codes FOR FREE. At least the Canadian DNCL charges for all downloads! Similar comments apply for other nations like the UK and Australia. iOpt out registrations could be abused in the same manner, when information is propagated into the wrong hands. The real problem is the entire opt-out model.

  12. real problem
    I would say the real problem it the whole “screw anyone for a buck” mentality and legislative tolerance or even support of it.

    From what I have seen of the “tactics” used by telemarketers, I would be afraid to see a number on the percentage of telemarketing sales that are to individuals who are not of full mental capacity due to age or other issues.

  13. Devil's Advocate says:

    “Perhaps my understanding is incorrect, but the use of autodialers themselves isn’t illegal…”

    You need to read both the CRTC’s words (posted on their site), and my words again.

    It is not illegal to use autodialers WHEN the call is supported by a live operator within a reasonable time after you decided to pick it up. It IS illegal when the calls aren’t being properly handled by live operators, giving “empty air space” or similar to anything above a certain percentage (which I believe starts at 5%).

    Bell’s AIC Global telemarketing campaign (not long ago) was over 95% UNHANDLED. There were literally THOUSANDS of complaints alone about the fact that nobody was on the other end for practically every call picked up!

    The present call mission is apparently no different. This practice is a clear breach of CRTC ordinances.

    This goes on all the fuckin’ time with these companies. They get away with it because the CRTC doesn’t give a shit. It never sides with the People, electing instead to keep kissing corporate ass.

    And, Bell is the DNCL OPERATOR!
    This should be the last company we should ever tolerate doing such things.

    I’ve written to 4 or 5 Government MPs already about the last campaign (YES, I put my name on it, for those who kept asking before). NOT ONE ever gave me the dignity of an answer.

    What does that tell you?

  14. Devil’s Advocate: Agreed that there is a maximum of 5% of abandoned call rate, and a call is considered to be abandoned after 2 seconds according to the CRTC rules.

    However, if you language in the letters to the MPs was the same as in your post, frankly, I’d circular file it too, especially if I wasn’t your MP.

    Note that Bell, in most cases, probably qualifies under the previous business exemption to the DNCL. Certainly they do in my case… I have no option. Cell service is unreliable at my house and cable isn’t even a rumour.

  15. Devil's Advocate says:

    1) “However, if you language in the letters to the MPs was the same as in your post, frankly, I’d circular file it too, especially if I wasn’t your MP.”

    My “language” to the MPs was clear and polite.
    They just ignored the whole thing.

    Even if the language wasn’t totally exemplary, you would think the office of an MP would have to treat such letters with some sense of duty.

    Guaranteed, I’ll bet every single communication they would ever get from Bell gets answered, and promptly.

    2) “Note that Bell, in most cases, probably qualifies under the previous business exemption to the DNCL.”

    Bell was mandated by the CRTC to honour ALL iOptOut requests. Dr. Geist has outlined this here a number of times. Bell itself has been on my iOptOut list since it was launched, as well as the lists of several people I know.

    What I’m describing here is not just an annoyance, it’s a major point that the CRTC and our Government simply won’t address. It’s things like this that confirm everyone’s suspicion that Bell is in bed with them all.