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How can I stop telemarketing calls?

Almost every Canadian household has gotten an annoying telemarketing call at least once.

If you regularly receive telemarketing calls and you want them to stop, there are ways to do so.

What are telemarketing calls?

Telemarketing calls are described as unsolicited calls, which are also often unwanted, during which telemarketers or salespeople try to sell you products or services.

How can I reduce the number of telemarketing calls I get?

Telemarketers have a variety of ways in which they are able to obtain people’s phone numbers. Often telemarketing companies get numbers off contest forms or applications that consumers fill out, from companies whom you give business or they select random numbers to call.

If you want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you get, you need to be careful to whom you give your number, especially when you are dealing with a business. If you are filing out an application or form for a business, make sure to check off the “do not wish to be contacted” box.

The National Do Not Call List

If a consumer has done all he or she can to reduce the number of telemarketing calls, but is still getting them, then they can place themselves on the DNCL list.

To get on the list, a consumer the number or numbers at which they’d like to stop receiving telemarketing calls either with the National DNCL website or they can call them at 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625).

The consumer must register all numbers at which they want to stop receiving calls, this includes cellular, home phone or fax numbers. Once the number is registered it is added to the database within 24 hours.

However, the telemarketer doesn’t have to stop calling the consumer right away. The business is given a 31-day grace period to update their calling list after which they have to stop calling the number.

The registration of number(s) is permanent but a consumer can have their number removed if they wish it at a later date.

Exempted telemarketing calls

There are categories of telemarketers that are exempt from the DNCL rules, including:

  • Registered charities that are raising funds;
  • Newspapers which are looking for subscriptions;
  • Political parties and their candidates;
  • Companies which only make telemarketing calls and send faxes to businesses.

Also exempt are telemarketers who communicate with consumers where they already have an existing business relationship.

What is “an existing business relationship” in the context of the DNCL exemption?

An existing business relationship with a consumer is one in which:

  • If the consumer purchased, leased, or rented a product or service from the company in the last 18 months;
  • If the consumer is in possession of a written contract with the company for a service that is still in effect or has expired within the last 18 months; and/or
  • If the consumer has made an inquiry or has submitted an application to the company about a product or service within the last six months.

If you have been put your number(s) on the DNCL list, and the 31-day grace period has expired, and you are still receiving telemarketing calls from telemarketers who are not exempt, you can contact the CRTC and make a complaint.

Read more:

Telemarketing and Unwanted Calls

Complain About a Telemarketing Call