Promised by the Liberal government four years ago, the Canadian Do Not Call Registry went live yesterday. It’s easy to use. Simply dial one of the toll free numbers from the line you wish to have added to the registry, answer a few voice prompts, and the number will be added. The numbers to dial are either 1-866-580-3625 or 1-888-362-5889. Alternatively, you can visit the registry’s web site to add yourself.
Once you’ve added yourself, telemarketers must respect your wishes within 30 days. They have to update their databases, and stop calling you. Otherwise they could face fines of up to $15,000. Your registration will last three years, at which time you must reregister.
There is a list of exemptions a mile long. Charities, political parties, riding associates, candidates, newspapers, any organization that you’ve done business with in the last 18 months all have the right to call you. However, even those organizations must remove your number from their list if requested to do so. Michael Geist’s iOptOut.ca automates this for you. It’s worthwhile doing this in addition to registering for the Do Not Call Registry.
I called the toll-free number this morning to add our home line. It was simple and quick, although there was a lengthy and scary sounding legal disclaimer after registration stating that the Do-Not-Call Registry would not be liable for any errors, missed calls (from the telemarketers that you want to hear from, presumably), etc. I think you can safely hang up at the point that the machine starts to recite the disclaimer.
A month from now I expect to have reclaimed dinner time peace and quiet. Hallelujah!