Across North America, the telemarketing industry is still feeling the effects of several pieces of legislation aimed at curbing unwanted marketing phone calls.
In fact, after handing out stiff penalties to two telemarketing companies for violating the national do-not-call registry, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is continuing to focus on hundreds of other suspected violators.
Under Canadian law, as long as the telemarketer either pay the fines within 30 days, or challenges the charges in court, they will remain anonymous.
According to s Leonard Katz, CRTC’s vice-chairman of telecommunications, up to 700 telemarketers are under investigation for violations of do-not-call list.
“Although most telemarketers are abiding by the rules, we will use the enforcement tools at our disposal to promote compliance,” said Katz. “The Notices of Violation we have issued serve as a warning to telemarketers that we will not look the other way if they break the rules and invade the privacy of consumers.”
Katz said Canadians who have registered on the National DNCL have noticed a reduction in the number of telemarketing calls and faxes they receive.
The National DNCL is a free service for consumers that allows them to reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes they receive. To date, nearly 7 million numbers have been registered on the National DNCL, according to Katz.
In the past few years, companies like VanillaSoft, an emerging leader in lead management solutions for outbound telephone sales, began providing its customers with the technology to comply with the new Canadian “Do-Not-Call” laws that went into effect September 30, 2008.
The system from the Texas-based company is called TeleBlock and is created by Compliance Systems Corporation (News - Alert), a Long Island-based developer of technology-based compliance solutions for the teleservices industry.
“TeleBlock is like any other product on the market,” said Ken Murray, co-founder of VanillaSoft. “It enables our customers to enjoy total peace-of-mind regarding their business, and ‘do-not-call’ compliance.” Far superior to conventional ‘scrubbing’ systems or procedures, it automatically checks local, regional, and national ‘do-not-call’ registries and blocks inappropriate calls without the caller having to do a thing.”
The system is the patented flagship product of the company CSC, which partners with solution providers like VanillaSoft, who then market the TeleBlock system to their customers.
TeleBlock is an important part of VanillaSoft’s lineup of tools that help businesses to comply with complicated calling laws, including call recording and the restriction of making calls outside legal calling hours.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has also been cracking down on DNC violators, hitting telemarketers with big time fines, and in some instances filling criminal charges.
In June, the FTC filed multiple lawsuits against three companies – Voice Touch and Transcontinental Warranty, both of Florida, and Illinois-based Network Foundations – these companies violated the Do Not Call (DNC) registry law by making more than 1 billion robocalls since 2007 generating more $10 million in business.
The federal government launched the first DNC List in 2003 and has register 167 million people to have their phone numbers removed from telemarketers' lists. To date, FTC (News - Alert) has taken 35 companies to court and collected more than $16 million in penalties and fines.
Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tim Gray