OTTAWA AND GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has paid a penalty of $50,000 and Union Calling Inc. has paid a penalty of $65,000 as part of settlements over violations to the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
The CRTC's investigation found that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers failed to identify itself or provide its contact information in robocalls made to residents of Ontario. The union hired a company, Union Calling Inc., to deliver pre-recorded messages between May 21 and June 26, 2013 regarding the possible closure or downsizing of post offices in certain communities.
"These latest settlements involve taking action against both the companies who make unsolicited telecommunications and clients of companies who make unsolicited telecommunications as they are both required to comply with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Canadians expect to know who is calling them, even when listening to a pre-recorded message. This is an important element of the rules governing the use of robocalls. We appreciate the cooperation we received from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Union Calling Inc. during our investigation into this matter," said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer.
In addition to paying monetary penalties, parties have agreed to cease violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules and implement comprehensive compliance programs that will include:
- an acknowledgement of all applicable rules and a commitment to comply fully with them
- the appointment of a compliance officer to ensure ongoing adherence with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules
- an education and training program for employees
- appropriate record keeping, and
- promotion of better awareness of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
Automatic Dialing-Announcing Devices (ADADs) are used to dial telephone numbers and automatically deliver a pre-recorded message. A person or company using an ADAD to make unsolicited telecommunications where there is no attempt to solicit, shall comply with certain conditions including:
- such telecommunications are restricted to certain times during the day
- such telecommunications shall begin with a clear message identifying the person on whose behalf the telecommunication is made. This identification message shall include a mailing address and a local or toll-free telecommunications number at which a representative of the originator of the message can be reached.
- such telecommunications shall display the originating telecommunications number or an alternate telecommunications number where the telecommunication originator can be reached (except where the number display is unavailable for technical reasons).
About the CRTC's enforcement measures
The CRTC enforces the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. Under its enforcement process, the CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations engaged in telemarketing, which may lead to a settlement that includes a 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 efforts have yielded over $3.4 million in penalties, which are remitted to the Receiver General for Canada, and $741,000 in payments to post-secondary institutions.
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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