OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Aug. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced today that the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has paid $50,000 in administrative monetary penalties as part of a settlement over violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The company also agreed to end its previous telemarketing practices and help promote awareness of the Rules. The AFL is a voluntary organization consisting of 29 union affiliates and representing 160,000 workers in Alberta.
Acting on complaints submitted by Canadians, the CRTC investigated the AFL for alleged violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The CRTC found that through a third-party firm, the AFL made unsolicited telemarketing calls via an automatic dialing-announcing device (ADAD). These calls did not comply with the Rules. Specifically, the ADAD messages did not provide a local or toll-free phone number and mailing address where the AFL could be reached.
In addition to paying the administrative monetary penalty, the AFL has committed to ensure future compliance with the Rules. They will ensure ADAD communications made on its behalf begin with a clear message identifying the AFL as the organization for which the call is made and indicating the purpose of the call. This identification message shall include an email address or postal address, and a local or toll-free phone number where an AFL representative can be reached. As well, the AFL will develop and implement a comprehensive program to comply with the Rules. The program shall include:
- written policies and procedures that address compliance with the Rules
- education and training programs for people involved in initiating unsolicited telecommunications
- record-keeping procedures to help AFL and Commission staff verify compliance
- registration and tracking of complaints related to unsolicited telecommunications, and resolutions
- disciplinary procedures for compliance failures
- third-party telemarketer arrangements that address compliance and assign responsibility for obligations
- communications with CRTC staff as necessary to determine compliance
The CRTC is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure telemarketers follow the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules and to reduce the number of unwanted calls to Canadians. The CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations engaged in telemarketing, which may lead to a settlement that includes an administrative monetary penalty and other corrective measures. The CRTC can also issue warnings and citations, conduct inspections and issue notices of violation.
To date, the CRTC's enforcement actions have yielded over $4 million in administrative monetary penalties, which are remitted to the Receiver General for Canada, and $741,000 in other payments.
About the National Do Not Call List
The National Do Not Call List was launched in 2008 to protect Canadians from unsolicited telecommunications. Canadians may register on the National Do Not Call at no charge. Over 12 million numbers are currently registered on the List.
Canadians can register their numbers, verify whether a number is on the List or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca.
- The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has paid $50,000 as part of a settlement over violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
- The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules are a set of strict rules that individuals, companies and organizations must follow when making telemarketing calls.
- The CRTC is committed to protecting Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure that all telemarketers follow the rules.
- To date, the CRTC's enforcement efforts have yielded over $4 million in penalties, which are remitted to the Receiver General for Canada, and $741,000 in other payments.
"Canadians deserve to know the purpose of an ADAD call and how to contact the organization behind it. The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules make those obligations clear for all individuals and groups involved in telemarketing. Our settlement with the AFL reflects the organization's cooperation with our investigation and willingness to work with the CRTC to promote awareness of the Rules."
Tom Lowry, Director, Telecommunications Enforcement, CRTC
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SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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