The CRTC National Do not call list (National DNCL) came into effect on September 30, 2008. Under the Unsolificited Telecommunications Rules and the National DNCL that govern telemarketing, persons who are engaged in telemarketing are not permitted to call a telephone, fax or cellular number unless they have first checked the number against the current National DNCL. Independent brokers must individually register with the CRTC’s National Do not call list and pay the annual subscription. To register, go to: http://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/.
Please note, you must also maintain your own separate do not call list. If a client with whom you have an existing business relationship, or a prospect whose number is not on the national DNCL asks not to be contacted by you, you must add their number to your own do not call list. Consumers who want to register on the National DNCL must register their own numbers directly with the CRTC.
Consequences of non-compliance
Penalties from CRTC for not complying with telemarketing rules include charges up to $1,500 per infraction for an individual consumer and up to $15,000 for a corporation. In addition to these charges, a registered complaint can cause damage to your reputation.
The exemption that is most relevant to your business as an advisor is the Existing Business Relationship (EBR). You are not required to determine if a telephone, fax or cellular number is on the National DNCL if you are calling someone with whom you have an existing business relationship.
If you have an employee, such as an assistant, they can rely on your EBR.
An EBR exists if the person being called has:
- purchased goods or services from you within 18 months of the call;
- made an inquiry or application within six months of the call; or
- a written contract with you that is in effect or expired within 18 months of the call.
Note: If you hire a telemarketer service, your EBR does not apply to the telemarketer.
Referrals should be checked against the do not call list, unless you are able to have the client that provided the referral, obtain consent for you to call. A way to do this is for the referrer to call the leads at the time they provide you the referral and while you are in their presence. If that referral complains about the call, the onus will be on you to justify the call by proving evidence of the consent. Therefore, it is a best practice to retain records on referral files.
Consumers have been able to register on the National DNCL since September 30th 2008. You must begin checking the National DNCL to clear numbers before calling consumers no later than October 30th, 2008.
Please see the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA) website for additional information on the National DNCL: http://www.clhia.ca/advisor.