How to Block Telemarketers in Canada

Most people agree that telemarketing is by far the most aggressive and stressful form of advertising. First, when a stranger calls your stationary phone and asks you to buy this or that product of this or that company, the first question that pops up into your mind may be: "How in the world did he find my number?" Then, because telemarketers usually call when there is a greater chance of somebody picking up the phone, it is almost certain that their call will interrupt some most pleasurable activities like playing a quiet game of chess with your lifelong friend, or making a kite for your kid. As you know in telemarketing, the guys usually base their call centres in some developing country like India, where they can easily recruit cheap workforce, and start bombarding the developed economies like the United States, Canada or the Netherlands with unwanted phone calls. Their marketing strategies are aggressive as their aim is to sell not have a chat with you.

There is good news for all Canadians who do not want to be pestered by telemarketers any longer. The solution to the telemarketing problem comes from the good old Bell, Canada’s oldest and largest telecommunications company whose origins may be traced down to the Bell family and the invention of the telephone. Together with the national regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission CRTC, Bell Canada has set up a do-not-call list, meant to prevent subscribers from unwanted telemarketing calls on their landlines or mobile phones. Canadian citizens or permanent residents may register their stationary phones and cell phone number with a phone call at 1-866-580-3625 or online at the website of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (available in English and French).

The desired effect is attained about one month after completing the registration, as telemarketers need time to update their no-call lists. However, the list does not protect you from certain callers such as charity organizations, political parties or polling agencies, as well as newspapers, selling subscriptions and organizations with which the subscriber has an existing business relationship. You need to unsubscribe if you’d like to stop hearing from them.

Under a license agreement with the state regulator, Bell Canada will be operating the do-not-call list for a period of five years. However, telemarketers have lashed out at the initiative, especially as regards the online subscription option, over fears that malevolent hackers may upload entire phonebooks on the list and thus cast a devastating blow on the whole industry.

Another means of protection against unwanted telemarketing that is worth mentioning is the so-called tele-zapper – a cool gadget that, once attached to your landline, effectively detects calls from telemarketers and mutes them. The tele-zapper plugs into any phone jack and phone and covers answering machines and extensions that are connected to your line. The device does not interfere with calls that are dialed up manually. Tele-zappers also work with caller ID, Call Waiting, and most of the answering machines on the market.