Telemarketing: Who am I allowed to call?

Note: This information should not be interpreted as legal advice. Tenato recommends consulting your own legal counsel to ensure compliance with Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.

Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels

Telemarketing may not sound sexy, but there is a time and a place for specific marketing tactics, and telemarketing can be extremely successful for the right product or service. If you choose to engage in telemarketing as part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to be aware of your responsibilities in regards to Canada’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, which include the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).

We recently attended the Calgary Marketing Association luncheon to hear Christina Beck, Compliance and Enforcement Officer for the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission), talk about the rules around the DNCL.

Telemarketing means your business uses telecommunications technologies to make unsolicited calls to consumers for the purpose of selling or promoting a product or service, for oneself or for another party. Calls that are not considered telemarketing calls include:

  • product recall calls;
  • appointment reminder calls;
  • calls related to payment or bill collections;
  • public service announcements; or
  • calls for the sole purposes of market research, surveys or public opinion polls.

The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules include the Telemarketing Rules, the Automatic Dialing-Announcing Device (ADAD) Rules and the National DNCL Rules. The rules apply to all Canadian consumers, regardless of where the call originates. If you are a third-party making calls for a client, you must ensure your company is subscribed to the National DNCL and keep those records for a period of three years.

Firstly, you need to determine if your calls are exempt:

Secondly, you need to register with the National DNCL Operator (free of charge) and subscribe to the DNCL list. A ‘query subscription’ lets you check up to 100 numbers while a ‘download subscription’ permits the download of a file containing all registered DNCL numbers that can be compared to any calling list. The subscription costs vary. Lastly, you need to keep meticulous records of your subscriptions or the subscriptions of companies whom you represent.

Although some may see these tools as restrictive, these lists filter out those who do not want to receive unsolicited calls. In the end, for the telemarketer, it helps ensure that the households you do contact are more likely to be receptive.

For more information there are great resources from the CRTC: