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CRTC announces that Rogers Communications has made a $275,000 payment for its use of automated calling devices without consent

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 24, 2011 —The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it has reached a settlement with Rogers Communications over its use of automated calling devices. Rogers was using these devices to notify its prepaid mobile customers of how they could purchase more minutes to avoid a service interruption.

“This latest investigation reinforces our commitment to protecting the privacy of consumers and educating businesses about their responsibilities,” said Masood Qureshi, the CRTC’s Senior Manager of Telemarketing Regulation. “We are pleased that Rogers is working to address our concerns and changing its telemarketing practices.”

Rogers has not admitted fault with regard to its use of automated calling devices. However, upon being made aware of the CRTC’s concerns, the company voluntarily undertook to:

  • immediately cease making these types of calls to its prepaid mobile customers without obtaining their prior express consent
  • make a monetary payment of $175,000 to the École polytechnique de Montréal and $100,000 to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and
  • review its compliance policies to ensure ongoing adherence with the CRTC’s rules relating to automated calling devices.

The CRTC applies the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. According to the established enforcement process, the CRTC can discuss corrective actions with telemarketers, which may lead to a settlement that includes a monetary penalty or monetary payment. The amount of Rogers’s payment is proportionate to its overall share of the prepaid mobile market.

To date, the CRTC has collected over $1.8 million in penalties on behalf of the Receiver General for Canada in addition to over $740,000 in payments to post-secondary institutions.

Consumers may register on the National Do Not Call List or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca.

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

 

Reference documents:

Key facts for consumers

Key facts for telemarketers

 

 

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These documents are available in alternative format upon request.


Additional information on automated calling devices

Automated calling devices are used to dial telephone numbers and automatically deliver a pre-recorded message. The CRTC’s Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Rules prohibit telemarketers from using these devices to sell or promote a product or service unless a consumer has consented to be called by them.

They can, however, be used by police and fire departments, schools and hospitals if they have a valid public service message to communicate. Automated calling devices can also be used for appointment reminders and thank you calls.

For more information, please see the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.