Recent settlements made with the CRTC by the Canadian Union of
Postal Workers (CUPW) and its voice broadcasting service provider
underline the risks that organizations face in making automated
In particular, the union and voice broadcaster were fined for
failing to identify CUPW in the recorded message as the party on
whose behalf the calls were made, and for failing to include a
local or toll-free telephone number where the call's originator
could be reached. Ironically, the postal union was also fined
for failing to include its mailing address.
Union Calling noted in a press release that call recipients
were able to access the required identification and contact
information by pressing a number on their telephone handset;
however, the CRTC Rules require that this information be provided
at the beginning of the recorded message itself.
The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules place tight
restrictions on the use of Automatic Dialing- Announcing Devices
(ADADs), also known as robocall devices. The use of ADADs to
make unsolicited calls for the purposes of solicitation is
prohibited, unless the prior express consent of the call recipient
has been obtained. Even where ADADs are used for purposes
other than solicitation, a number of important restrictions apply,
including the requirement to include caller identification and
contact information in the recorded message, and a prohibition on
making calls outside stipulated calling hours.
The Rules apply to both telemarketers/voice broadcasters and
their clients, and as these recent settlements illustrate, both
parties may be fined for the same robocall campaign.
The settlements with CUPW and Union Calling are only the most
recent in a spate of Administrative Monetary Penalties
handed out by the CRTC this year respecting robocalls, including a
number of fines levied against political candidates, political
parties and their voice broadcasting service providers
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In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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