On September 30, 2008, the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) was launched. Back in 2007, the CRTC awarded a five-year contract to Bell Canada to operate the National DNCL. Now, consumers can reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls they receive by registering their telephone numbers with the National DNCL.

In its first day of operation, the system was overwhelmed by calls from people trying to register ? and crashed. Bell was able to add additional capacity overnight and, by the middle of the next day, over a million phone numbers reportedly had been registered. A poll by conducted for the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association has suggested that almost two-thirds of Canadians are planning to put their phone numbers on the DNCL.

The rules for the National DNCL were part of a comprehensive framework for unsolicited telemarketing calls and other unsolicited telecommunications received by consumers, established in Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-48.

The rules currently require telemarketers to implement a number of procedures, including:

  • maintaining their own “do not call” lists and honouring a consumer's request not to be called; 
  • providing call number display of the originating telemarketing communication or an alternative telecommunications number where the telemarketer can be reached for all telemarketing communications; and 
  • limiting their telemarketing communications to the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends.

For a more detailed discussion of the DNCL and Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-48, please read our website commentary.

Note that the CRTC has recently announced it will review three requirements under the rules, including time-of-day calling restrictions for automatic dialing and announcing devices, as the CRTC's restrictions are inconsistent with certain provincial legislation.