Telemarketers finding ways through Do Not Call list
Published Friday, December 19, 2008 4:59PM EST
Frustration is mounting over Canada's new Do Not Call list, as thousands of complainants say telemarketers are now targeting their cell phones and work numbers.
Lois Siegel, a musician, filed a complaint with the CRTC for repeated telemarketing calls since she registered her cell phone with the list on Sept. 30. The alleged culprit is a cruise company that uses an untraceable "000" phone number to dial Canadians.
"I feel like I've given my cell phone away to the devil," Siegel told CTV Ottawa. "The CRTC isn't doing anything. When you make a complaint, they say you need the phone number and the company. Well they make up bogus names and the phone number is blocked."
The CRTC is investigating the cruise company plus about 400 other callers. The regulator wants people to file complaints, even if it's tougher to enforce Do Not Call rules on foreign companies.
"If there is a complaint, we'll investigate, and if the telemarketer has used the list for a list that wasn't intended, we'll issue a penalty for the violation," said Lynne Fancy, a CRTC spokeswoman.
In fact, many complaints about the cruise company are mistakenly going to Captain Sandy's Cruise Holidays, a Stittsville travel agency that sounds like the offending telemarketer.
"All of us are getting those calls, at home and on our cells, so we're just as annoyed as anyone else," said Carole Paleczny, the owner and president of Captain Sandy's.
Tony Poole, one of the company's travel agents, decided to "sign up" for the unsolicited cruise, just to track the caller down. It turned out to be a Florida-based "survey research company," he said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr