In settlement with the CRTC, Comwave Telenetworks Inc. agrees to stop violating the do not call rules and pays $100,000
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, April 3, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that Comwave Telenetworks Inc. has paid a penalty of $100,000 to the Receiver General for Canada as part of a settlement over telemarketing practices, which impacted calls made by its independent dealers. Comwave Telenetworks Inc. is affiliated with Comwave Telecommunications Inc., a provider of telecommunications services, such as home telephone, Voice over Internet Protocol telephone and long-distance services.
The CRTC issued a notice of violation after its investigation found that while Comwave did subscribe to the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), there were months where they erroneously did not download the list as required, resulting in calls being made by its independent dealers to consumers’ numbers that were registered on the National DNCL.“We appreciate that Comwave fully cooperated with our investigation and committed to changing its telemarketing practices,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer. “This investigation should serve as a reminder to all telemarketers that they must ensure they are not only registered with the National Do Not Call List, but also that their subscriptions are current. Furthermore, they must make certain that calls made on their behalf by third parties are in compliance with the telemarketing rules.”
In addition to paying monetary penalties, Comwave has decided, on its own volition, to cease telemarketing. Should it choose to continue telemarketing in the future, it has agreed to:
- review its compliance programs and appoint a compliance officer to ensure ongoing adherence with the CRTC’s telemarketing rules
- implement training and education programs for staff, and
- provide an annual report to the CRTC, which must document consumer complaints and the steps taken to resolve them.
About the CRTC’s enforcement measures
The CRTC enforces the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. According to its enforcement process, the CRTC can take corrective action with telemarketers, issue warnings and citations, conduct inspections and issue notices of violation. To date, the CRTC’s efforts have yielded over $2.5 million in penalties and over $740,000 in payments to post-secondary institutions.
The CRTC also serves as co-chair of the International Do Not Call Network. This network facilitates cooperation among its members, which consists of a dozen agencies that enforce telemarketing rules in their respective countries. Members meet annually to establish best practices and encourage the development of robust telemarketing laws around the globe.
About the National Do Not Call List
The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) was launched in 2008 to shield Canadians from unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes. Canadians may register on the National DNCL at no charge or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca. Once a number is added to the National DNCL, telemarketers have 31 days to update their calling lists. Over 11 million numbers are currently registered on the list.
The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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