The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced Tuesday that four air duct cleaning companies paid $55,000 as part of a settlement after a telemarketing investigation.
The four companies violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules by making unsolicited telemarketing calls without being registered with the National Do Not Call List and without having purchased a subscription.
“The telemarketing calls made by these air duct cleaning companies generated a large number of complaints by Canadians,” Manon Bombardier, the CRTC’s chief compliance and enforcement officer, said in a release.
“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.”
The National Do Not Call List was created in 2008 to protect Canadians from unsolicited telecommunications and over 12.8 million numbers are currently registered on the list. Once a number has been registered it becomes effective 31 days later and will not expire unless it is removed by the individual.
The CRTC launched several investigations after many complaints were filed by Canadians. It found that nine companies in the GTA were violating the Unsolicited Telecommunication Rules. The National Do Not Call website, which was created by the CRTC, is where formal complaints can be issued or by calling 1-866-580-DNCL.
The four companies who agreed to pay a monetary penalty and cease making non-compliant telemarketing calls are:
- Bride Home Services Inc., $6,000
- Cambridge Heating Services, $23,000
- HR Home Services, $3,000
- Top Line Air Duct Cleaning Inc., $23,000
The remaining five companies have been issued a notice of violation and a monetary penalty totalling $94,000. The CRTC also issued warning letters to seven foreign call centres.These companies also used foreign call centres located in Pakistan, Indian and the United States:
- 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., $14,000.
“We appreciate the assistance we received from the Karachi local police and the RCMP in our investigations of the call centres in Pakistan,” Bombardier said.
The CRTC stated that it’s the telemarketers’ responsibility to adhere to the rules whether they make the calls themselves or use a third party.
To date, the CRTC enforcements have yielded over $6 million in monetary penalties.