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CRTC updates telemarketing rules

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has rejected a proposal from the Canadian Marketing Association to loosen restrictions on the use of automated calling devices by telemarketers. The association proposed that marketers be permitted to make automated calls without having express consent when there is an existing business relationship. The CRTC decided that the existing rule, which requires telemarketers to have express permission before making an automated call, will stand.

The commission has also shortened the grace period for removing numbers from a telemarketing call list when requested to do so by a consumer from 31 days to 14 days. Telemarketers using automated calling devices to make unsolicited calls will now also be required to state the purpose of the call immediately, and they must now also ensure that contact information provided during a call remains valid for at least 60 days.

"The CRTC is not prepared to water down its rules on automated telemarketing," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of CRTC. "This respects the choice Canadians have made not to be disturbed. Telemarketers must have the express consent of Canadians to contact them in their homes using automated calling devices."

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