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CRTC reaches $1.3 million settlement with Bell Canada over telemarketing

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has reached a settlement with Bell Canada concerning unauthorized telemarketing practices. Bell acknowledged that third-party telemarketers acting on its behalf had placed calls to numbers registered on the National Do Not Call List and Bell's internal do not call list. Under the terms of the settlement, Bell will pay a penalty of $1.3 million and "enhance its management of authorized independent telemarketers." The calls, which took place between January and October, promoted Bell's television, telephone, wireless and Internet services. "All telemarketers must respect the wishes of Canadians who have registered their telephone number on the National DNCL or requested that a telemarketer include their number on its internal do not call list," said Andrea Rosen, chief telecommunications enforcement officer at the CRTC. "Even though the calls in this instance were made by third parties, Bell Canada must ultimately ensure that the rules are followed." In a separate investigation, the CRTC also found that Bell had used automated calling devices to communicate with its prepaid mobile customers without obtaining their consent. Bell Canada has not admitted fault in this case, but has voluntarily undertook to cease making such calls and to pay $266,000 to the Institute for Information and Systems Engineering at Concordia University.

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