GATINEAU, Que. – Canada’s telecommunications regulator has fined two companies over their telemarketing practices.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions both failed to get the consent of people they robocalled to promote their services.
The regulator’s rules bar companies from using auto-diallers without the permission of the people being called.
The CRTC fined Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance $69,000 and Quick Connect Solutions $11,000.
“We appreciate that Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions fully co-operated with our investigation and committed to changing their telemarketing practices,” CRTC chief compliance officer Andrea Rosen said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with telemarketers to ensure they are obeying the rules at all times. Canadians are encouraged to file a detailed complaint each time they receive an unwanted telemarketing call.”
The companies have been ordered to stop making robocalls without first getting people’s permission.
They must also publish a notice on Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance’s website, appoint compliance officers to make sure they follow the rules and report annually to the regulator for the next five years on any consumer complaints and the steps taken to resolve them.
The CRTC’s rules for robocalls do not apply to police and fire departments, schools and hospitals that are communicating a public-service message.
Nor are registered political parties, nomination and leadership contestants or candidates barred from making robocalls.
Indeed, robocalls are part of an ongoing Elections Canada investigation into fraudulent or misleading calls made during the last federal election.
The investigation has so far centred on the southern Ontario riding of Guelph, but there have also been reports of dubious calls in other ridings.