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Archived - Cross-border telemarketing investigation against an American cruise company results in $200,000 penalty
March 11, 2015 — Ottawa-Gatineau — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that Consolidated Travel Holdings Group Inc. has paid a $200,000 penalty as part of a settlement for violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Automated calls were made to Canadians indicating that they would receive a free cruise to the Bahamas in exchange for answering a survey.
Acting on complaints submitted by Canadians, the CRTC launched an investigation and found that Caribbean Cruise Line Inc. made unsolicited telemarketing calls via an automatic dialing-announcing device (ADAD) to offer cruises to Canadians, many of which have their phone number registered on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL). In addition, the company did not possess a valid exemption to the National DNCL. Caribbean Cruise Line Inc. is owned by Consolidated Travel Holdings Group Inc., a holding company that is based in Florida.
During the course of its investigation, the CRTC worked closely with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In addition to paying the $200,000 penalty, Consolidated Travel Holdings Group Inc. has agreed to voluntarily cease making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Canadian consumers.
The CRTC reminds telemarketers that it is their duty to comply with the Rules, whether they make the calls themselves or hire a third-party agency to make calls on their behalf, and whether they are based in Canada or abroad.
The CRTC is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure telemarketers follow the Rules, and to reduce the number of unwanted calls to Canadians. The CRTC can discuss corrective actions with individuals, firms or organizations engaged in telemarketing, which may lead to a settlement that includes an administrative 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 enforcement efforts have yielded close to $6 million in monetary penalties, which are remitted to the Receiver General for Canada, and $741,000 in other payments.
About the National Do Not Call List
The National DNCL was launched in 2008 to protect Canadians from unsolicited telecommunications. Canadians may register permanently on the List at no charge. Over 12.7 million numbers are currently registered on the List.
Canadians can register their numbers, verify whether a number is on the List or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca.
- Caribbean Cruise Line, operating out of Florida, has paid $200,000 as part of a settlement for violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
- The CRTC continues to follow up on alleged violations of the Rules by other operators offering cruises.
- The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules are a set of strict rules that individuals, companies and organizations must follow when making telemarketing calls.
- The CRTC is committed to protecting Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure that all telemarketers follow the Rules.
- To date, the CRTC's enforcement efforts have yielded over $6 million in administrative monetary penalties.
"This cross-border investigation sends a message to foreign-based telemarketers that they must comply with our rules when calling Canadians, and shows that our efforts to shield Canadians from unwanted telemarketing calls are yielding results. We appreciate the assistance we received from the Federal Trade Commission over the course of our investigation. We are pleased to report that Caribbean Cruise Line cooperated with our investigation and has now voluntarily ceased making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Canadian consumers."
Manon Bombardier, the CRTC's Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer
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