National News

Toronto firms fined over do-not-call list

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Four Toronto-area companies have paid $84,000 in penalties for allegedly violating telemarketing rules by calling people registered on the National Do Not Call List, Canada's telecom regulator said Wednesday.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said the companies — Ecosmart Home Services Inc., Loyal Seal Windows and Doors, Home Comfort Group and Pegasus Peaks — called people directly or through a third-party firm.

As part of settlements, the companies have also agreed to end their current telemarketing practices and ensure future compliance with the law, the federal agency said.

The CRTC said it has also issued a notice of violation to a fifth company — Action Windows and Doors — along with a $24,000 penalty.

"We are committed to ensuring that telemarketers respect the wishes of Canadians who do not want to be bothered by unsolicited calls," said Manon Bombardier, chief compliance and enforcement officer at CRTC.

More than 12 million people are registered on the National Do Not Call List, which was launched in 2008.

To date, the agency says its enforcement actions have yielded more than $4 million in administrative monetary penalties and $741,000 in other payments.

"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 agency said.

A new anti-spam law aimed at restricting other types of unsolicited messages — by email, text messages or other electronic means — also went into effect this month.

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