Feds Propose Gag On Telemarketers

A national do-not-call list has legitimate telemarketers fuming.

It's 6:30 p.m., supper is on the table and the phone rings. Only one person could be so rude: the dreaded telemarketer. You can yell at them, hang up or let it ring–they'll be back, maybe even before dessert. It's annoying, no doubt. And now the federal government is wading in. Despite existing CRTC and Canadian Marketing Association regulations, the feds propose to create a national do-not-call list, as part of Bill C-37. Legitimate telemarketers are fuming. Why? “There are quite a few companies who don't follow the existing rules,” says Tony Nadra, CEO of 10-year-old SMT Direct Marketing Inc. “This bill will not regulate those who don't follow the rules today.” Nadra isn't against no-call lists, but he believes self-regulation would save jobs and money. Telemarketing, he adds, is “probably the most direct, effective and efficient channel to reach a consumer.” Which is to say, federal no-call lists or not, it isn't going away.