THE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Tuesday announced that four air duct cleaning companies paid a total of $55,000 as part of a settlement following violations to the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The CRTC also issued notices of violation accompanied by monetary penalties totalling $94,000 to five other air duct cleaning companies.
Notices of violation and warning letters were also sent to seven foreign call centres located in Pakistan, India and the U.S. As part of the investigations of the calls centres in Pakistan, the CRTC worked in close collaboration with the Karachi local police through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
“The telemarketing calls made by these air duct cleaning companies generated a large number of complaints by Canadians. The investigations were lengthy and labour-intensive given that there were numerous companies and they used foreign call centres that sometimes used caller identification spoofing. We are very happy with the results. We appreciate the assistance we received from the Karachi local police and the RCMP in our investigations of the call centres in Pakistan. We are pleased to report that four of the nine companies cooperated with the investigations and have voluntarily ceased making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Canadians,” said Manon Bombardier, CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer.
In response to complaints filed by Canadians, the CRTC launched several investigations and determined that nine companies, based in the Greater Toronto Area, had made unsolicited telemarketing calls without being registered with the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) operator and without having purchased a subscription. Four of the nine companies agreed to pay a monetary penalty and to cease making non-compliant telemarketing calls. Those companies are:
* Bridge Home Services Inc. – $6,000
* Cambridge Heating Services – $23,000
* HR Home Services – $3,000
* Top Line Air Duct Cleaning Inc. – $23,000
The five other companies were issued a notice of violation and an administrative monetary penalty, and have 30 days to submit comments. They are:
* Aqua Duct Cleaning Services – $9,000
* Goodlife Home Services Inc. – $16,000
* Kareem Duct Cleaning – $15,000
* N. Bro Transport Inc. – $14,000
* Toronto Breeze Air Duct Cleaning Services Inc. – $40,000
All of these companies used the services of foreign call centres. The CRTC is reminding telemarketers that it is their responsibility to adhere to the rules, whether they make the calls themselves or through a third party in Canada or abroad.
The CRTC is continuing to enhance its monitoring activities to ensure that telemarketers follow the rules, and to reduce the number of unwanted calls to Canadians. The CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations engaged in telemarketing, which may lead to a settlement that includes an administrative monetary penalty and other corrective measures. The CRTC can also issue warnings and citations, conduct inspections and issue notices of violation.
To date, the CRTC has issued monetary penalties worth over $6 million, payable to the Receiver General for Canada, and other penalties worth $741,000.
The National DNCL was launched in 2008 to protect Canadians from unsolicited telecommunications. Canadians may register permanently on the List at no charge. Over 12.8 million numbers are currently registered on the List.
Canadians can register their numbers, verify whether a number is on the List or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca.