National Do Not Call List for Canada, well... not really

Today they launch the National Do Not Call list in Canada, a bill that was passed 3 years ago but it's taken this long to build the service (guess they don't practice Agile in their software delivery process). From the looks of the service you might be jumping for joy thinking all those annoying calls at dinner time will stop. Think again.

I went to register my number with the National Do Not Call list but I’m pretty skeptical that it’s of any value. There are a whack of exclusions:

  • Any registered charities can call you
  • Anyone you’ve done business with in the past 18 months
  • Anyone you’ve made an inquiry to in the past 6 months
  • Political parties
  • Public surveys
  • Newspapers for the purpose of subscriptions

Hmmm. Doesn't leave much left does it? 

In addition, apparently it costs money for the telemarketers to subscribe to the list. It’s not clear that if they don’t subscribe to the list they can/cannot call you. All it says in the rules are that “Telemarketers and Clients of Telemarketers must subscribe to the National DNCL and pay any applicable application fees”. 

I suppose it will reduce the number of “cold call” telemarketers that will call you, but I’m suspicious that it’ll really reduce much. Looking at the exclusion list, basically there’s very few organizations that will fit into the non-exclusion list and are open to interrupt your dinner time (or quality Halo 3 time).

For the most part, I get called by my own bank and credit card companies (offering me extra insurance or whatever the flavor of the day is). According to the rules since I do business with them, unless I tell them to put me on their internal DNC list, they’ll still continue to call me with their offers I can’t be bothered with. That’s if they even have an internal DNC list and there’s no legislation that requires them to. 

Some people are welcoming the list, I just have doubts that it'll do much good. I agree that it's a good thing but there are too many restrictions, rules, and loopholes to make it really value-add to the consumer. True, you get off those cold-call lists from unknown telemarketers but in my experience I get more calls from business that I work with (banks, etc.) than unknown telemarketers and they're excluded (as is newspaper/magazine subscription calls which I get a lot of those too).

BTW, I tried to register my number but it took me to a page that simply said:

The service is not available. Please try again later.

I guess they didn’t figure anyone would actually use it or maybe the webserver just fell over and nobody cares.



  • Cheers! Got myself a good laugh. "Do Not Call list" - put your number here, and we'll publish it to all our subscribers. You'll never be bothered again.. Right!

    It's like putting your e-mail on a spamsite ;)

  • Looks like they're on the ball. Now it says, "An internal server error occurred. Please try again later."

  • The National Do Not Call List is apparently on the do not call list :-)

    I was wondering if DNC was going to callapse under the load...

    Now the message is:
    Please correct the following errors:
    We are experiencing a temporary technical problem. Please call one of the numbers below for registration, or try again later.

  • I didn't have a problem went online to the CRTC site and registered fine. If it stops even one annoying call a night it is worth it.

  • Oh no, who will save me from dinner table, family talk time?

  • I tried to register online, it was saying i had an invalid area code (I'm pretty sure I know my area code) so when I tried to register by phone i got a message saying that this service was not available in my area! So Alberta is considered apart of Canada anymore? NIIIICE!

  • i'm from ontario and couldn't register online my phone number else can i get rid off those telemarketers?

  • The National Do Not call List should have its name changed to the"Call List". There are so many exceptions to those who are not on the list and can still call you,that the No Call List is a waste of time. As a matter of fact it appears that it has made the unwanted calls more plentiful than they were in the past. Right now, the excluded estabishments have been given a license and feel empowered to call, which is something that they probably did not even think of in the past.

  • go to the crtc site it is completely easy to use and we used to get at least 4 calls a night from long distance companies and that has reduced to almost nothing

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