CRTC continues crackdown on telemarketing violations
GoodLife Fitness Centres pays $300,000 for making robocalls
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, August 23, 2011 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that GoodLife Fitness Centres has paid a penalty of $300,000 to the Receiver General for Canada as part of a settlement over its telemarketing practices. The CRTC issued a notice of violation after its investigation found that GoodLife had used automated calling devices (robocalls) to solicit its members without obtaining their prior express consent.
“We appreciate GoodLife’s cooperation during our investigation,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer. “Telemarketers that inundate Canadians with unwanted phone calls are not engaging in a legitimate marketing practice. We expect the business community to follow the rules at all times, and we will vigorously investigate breaches.”
GoodLife was making robocalls to inform its members of new club openings and invite them to grand opening events. In addition to paying an administrative monetary penalty, GoodLife has agreed to:
- immediately cease using automated calling devices for telemarketing purposes without obtaining its members’ prior express consent
- organize a business education event with the CRTC at the Can-Fit-Pro Consumer and Wellness Show to foster compliance with the telemarketing rules
- publish corrective notices in newspapers and on its website, and
- review its compliance policies to ensure ongoing adherence with the CRTC’s telemarketing rules.
The CRTC applies the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. According to its enforcement process, the CRTC can discuss corrective actions with telemarketers, which may lead to a settlement that includes a monetary penalty or monetary payment.
To date, the CRTC’s enforcement actions have resulted in over $2.1 million in penalties collected on behalf of the Receiver General for Canada and $740,000 in payments made 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 is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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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.
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