Backgrounder Article from  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Archived - Enforcement Advisory - Notice for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today levied an administrative monetary penalty of $260,000 against Hamel Système d'Information 2000 Inc., a company that unlawfully provided real estate agents and brokers with access to the contents of the National Do Not Call List through its Telelisting website, an online directory service.

The Telelisting case provides an opportunity for two important reminders to real estate professionals. First, no one is allowed to sell or provide access to the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) – or any portion of the list – to anyone outside its organization. Second, any real estate agents or brokers must first be registered and subscribed with the National DNCL Operator before making telemarketing calls to Canadians.

If you are a real estate agent or a broker whose business depends on referrals for sales, and who calls consumers directly to promote your business, you are considered to be making telemarketing calls. You must therefore register with the National DNCL and follow the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to comply with the law.

What is a telemarketing call?

Anyone who contacts consumers for the purpose of selling a product or a service is considered to be making a telemarketing call. This includes professionals such as real estate agents – whether acting on their own or on behalf of a broker – who use referrals to build their businesses.

As a result, real estate brokers wishing to make telemarketing calls must1:

  • register and subscribe with the National DNCL Operator
  • pay all applicable fees to ensure their agents may make telemarketing calls
  • ensure their agents have access to up-to-date versions of the National DNCL

What are the penalties for violating these rules?

The CRTC takes violations of the National DNCL and the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules seriously. If found in violation, individuals can be issued administrative penalties of up to $1,500 per violation; corporations can be issued penalties of up to $15,000 per violation.

How can I register with and subscribe to the National DNCL?

Getting registered is easy. Simply visit for a complete description of the steps you need to follow, and the technical help you might need to download and use the National DNCL.

Help the CRTC protect Canadians' privacy.

Telemarketing is a valuable source of business for many Canadian companies. As long as it is done within the rules of the National Do Not Call List, the CRTC supports such activities.

Yet we are committed to cracking down on violations. Education – through enforcement advisories such as this – is one tool we use to target specific groups of Canadian businesses that may not be aware of their specific obligations. Should violators persist, the CRTC has the power to levy administrative monetary penalties. In 2013–14 alone, the CRTC levied more than $1 million in such penalties.

Since the National DNCL was created in 2008, more than 12 million Canadians have registered their telephone numbers – a clear signal that they value their privacy. Privacy must be respected and the CRTC is committed to ensuring that all Canadian telemarketing businesses - respect the National DNCL Rules.

Associated Link

News Release: Telelisting to pay $260,000 for violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules

1: Some exemptions may apply such as business to business calls or existing business relationship calls. Please see the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules for further details.

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