Agents, brokerages held accountable by CRTC for using company that violated telemarketing rules

CRTC’S Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer (CCEO) Steven Harroun has taken a number of enforcement actions, including issuing over $100,000 in penalties, against several real estate, investment and mortgage agents and brokerages. The agents and brokerages hired a telemarketing firm to recruit prospective clients, which did not abide by the CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

The Commission received over 1,000 complaints related to the third-party telemarketer from 2012 to 2017. Canadians reported to have received telemarketing calls from individuals who were soliciting the services of real estate agents, investment brokers or mortgage brokers.

Among other things, individuals and businesses who hire a firm to make calls on their behalf must ensure that the telemarketer is updating its calling list and that no calls are being made to consumers whose telephone numbers have been registered on the National Do Not Call List for more than 31 days. Should the telemarketer fail to do so, the contracting individual or business can be held liable for their violations.

As part of this investigation, the CRTC issued 44 citations, 258 warning letters and 23 notices of violation with penalties totaling $103,300.

Harroun said: “We encourage companies who hire a third-party telemarketer to ensure that they are fully in compliance with the National Do Not Call List and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Should they fail to do so, the companies will ultimately be held accountable. We thank all Canadians who sent complaints as it helps us identify non-compliant practices.”

Quick Facts
* The CRTC received 1,055 complaints from Canadians who reported receiving telemarketing calls from individuals who were soliciting the services of either a real estate agent, mortgage broker or investment broker.
* Under the Telecommunications Act, a person can be held liable for a violation that is committed by a third-party agent.
* When hiring a third-party telemarketer, brokerages are responsible for:
– registering with and providing information to the National DNCL operator
– becoming a registered subscriber of the National DNCL, and
– paying all applicable fees to the extent that their agents initiate telemarketing telecommunications.
* Brokerages must implement measures to ensure that their agents comply with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, including ensuring that their agents have access to up-to-date versions of the National DNCL.
* The CRTC is committed to protecting Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure that all telemarketers follow the rules.
* The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules are a set of strict rules that individuals, companies and organizations must follow when making unsolicited telecommunications.
* Companies can access the National DNCL online by registering their organization and purchasing a subscription from the National DNCL Operator
* Canadians can register their phone number online or by phone, to 1‑866‑580‑DNCL or to 1‑888‑DNCL‑TTY for people who are hard of hearing.
* Canadians can file a complaint with the National DNCL Operator online or by phone.

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