Canada’s “Do Not Call” List: Feeble From the Start

Michael Geist says it perfectly:

“The Canadian government passed legislation in 2005 mandating the creation of a do-not-call registry.  The registry takes effect on September 30, 2008, yet many Canadians may be disappointed to learn about the exemption of a wide range of organizations (registered charities, business with prior relationships, political parties, survey companies, and newspapers).  Under the law, exempted organizations are permitted to make unsolicited telephone calls despite the inclusion of the number in the do-not-call registry. However, organizations must remove numbers from their lists if specifically requested to do so.”

If I were to summarize the types of organizations that I get telemarketing calls from, it would be charities, survey companies, and certainly businesses with which I’ve had a “prior relationship”. The last one is especially egregious in that the threshold of what a “prior relationship” is doesn’t seem to be defined anywhere that I could find. If it means “We got his number from a database that we purchased from a company that he used to do business with”, then what’s the point in having this Do Not Call list?

Thankfully, Michael Geist has created iOptOut. I don’t know how well it will work, but I’ve registered and given it a try.