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Frequently Asked Questions

Top questions

About the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

Registering on the National DNCL

Making a complaint

Top questions

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If I make a complaint about a telemarketer, will the CRTC follow up with me?

The CRTC will investigate the complaint, and may contact you to get more information about your complaint if necessary. The CRTC will not contact you to let you know what happened with your complaint.

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What happens to a US telemarketer who violates the Canadian National Do Not Call List rules?

Telemarketers from the US, and other countries, making calls to Canadian consumers must still follow the CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, including the National DNCL Rules.

If a Canadian organization hires a telemarketing agency outside of Canada, and there's a complaint against the organization, it will be investigated by the CRTC. If a telemarketer has violated the Rules, the CRTC may impose a penalty of up to $1500 per violation for individuals and up to $15,000 per violation for corporations.

Remember that whenever you receive a telemarketing call, you can ask the caller to add your phone number to their internal do not call list.

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I received a telemarketing call that I think was fraudulent. What do I do?

Even if your telephone number is on the National DNCL, you may still receive fraudulent telemarketing calls. That’s why it’s important to always be on your guard. If you receive a call that you think may be fraudulent, contact your local police or The Canadian Anti Fraud Center (1-888-495-8501), a national anti-fraud service jointly operated by the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Competition Bureau.

About the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

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What is the National Do Not Call List?

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) is a list of telephone numbers of consumers who want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls they receive. Organizations that make telemarketing calls are not allowed to call phone numbers registered on the National DNCL.

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Do I have to pay to add my phone number to the National DNCL?

No, registration is free.

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If I register my telephone number on the National DNCL, will I still receive telemarketing calls?

When you register on the National DNCL, you will receive fewer telemarketing calls, but there are some exceptions including:

  • registered charities
  • political parties and candidates
  • opinion polling firms or market research firms conducting surveys
  • newspapers calling to sell a subscription
  • organizations that have a business relationship with you, for example:
    • you’ve done business with the organization in the last 18 months
    • you’ve inquired about the organization's products or services in the last 6 months

For more information on exemptions, check Who Can Still Call You.

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What happens to telemarketers who call phone numbers on the National DNCL?

The CRTC investigates complaints and determines if the telemarketer violated the National DNCL Rules. If a telemarketer has violated the Rules, the CRTC may impose a penalty of up $1,500 per violation for individuals and up to $15,000 per violation for corporations.

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I don’t mind receiving certain telemarketing calls. If I have registered my number on the National DNCL, can I still allow specific organizations to call me?

You can give an organization express consent to call you, even if your telephone number is on the National DNCL. You can give your consent verbally, on a paper or electronic form, or online.

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Are there other ways I can reduce the number of telemarketing calls I receive?

Whether or not you're registered on the National DNCL, you can reduce the number of telemarketing calls by adding your number to individual telemarketers’ do not call lists.

All telemarketers, even if they only make exempted calls, must keep their own internal do not call lists. When you receive a call, you can ask to have your number added to their do not call list, or you can contact the organization directly to have your number placed on their list. The organization must keep your number on their do not call list for 6 years.

Keep in mind that calls made by market research or polling firms are not considered telemarketing calls because they aren’t selling, leasing or renting products or services. Similarly, debt collection calls are not considered telemarketing calls. As well, these organizations do not have to keep internal do not call lists.

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What rules must telemarketers follow when they call?

The CRTC has rules for telemarketing calls. For example, at the beginning of a call, the telemarketer must tell you why they’re calling and identify on whose behalf the call is being made. Telemarketers may only call you within specific calling hours. There are also rules limiting the use of Automated Dialing-Announcing Devices (ADADs).

The full set of Rules can be found on the Telemarketing information page in the Consumers section of the CRTC website. You can also read a condensed version of the Rules in the National Do Not Call List and Telemarketing Rules.

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Who manages the National DNCL?

Bell Canada was contracted by the CRTC to act as the National DNCL Operator. The Rules are enforced by the CRTC.

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What about privacy issues?

Please see the Privacy Statement for more information. If you have further questions, please contact the National DNCL Privacy Officer or the CRTC Access and Privacy Officer.

Registering on the National DNCL

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What phone numbers can I register on the National DNCL?

You can register any or all of your Canadian telephone numbers on the National DNCL. The number can be associated with a home phone (i.e., wireline) service, cell phone or wireless (i.e., mobile or satellite) service, VoIP service, or a fax machine.

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How do I add my phone number to the list?

You can register online or by phone.

Online:

  • Go to Register My Number and follow the instructions.

    The “Registration Results” page confirms that your phone number has been added to the National DNCL.

By phone, you must call from the phone number you want to register:

  • Call 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625); or
  • Call 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889) only if you are calling from a TTY device.

You’ll hear a message confirming that your phone number has been added to the National DNCL.

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How do I register my fax number?

You can register your fax number on the National Do Not Call List online or by fax.

Online:

  • Go to Register My Number and follow the instructions
    The “Registration Results” page confirms that your phone number has been added to the National DNCL.

By fax, you must send the fax from the fax machine you want to register:

  • Send a fax to 1-888-DNCL-Fax (888-362-5329)
  • Include the number you want to register (the number you’re faxing from) and the instruction: Please Register

    You’ll receive a confirmation fax. If you don’t receive a confirmation fax, your number hasn’t been added to the National DNCL. Try registering again.

    Your fax number will be added to the list within 1 business day.
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When will I notice a reduction in telemarketing calls?

When you register, your phone number is added to the National DNCL within 24 hours. Telemarketers have 31 days to update their own lists, and you may receive calls within those first 31 days.

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Is my registration permanent?

When you register a number, it stays on the National DNCL for 6 years. After 6 years, you must re-register.

You won’t be contacted when your registration is about to expire. It’s up to you to maintain your registration. You can also re-register any time, which resets your registration period to 6 years from the date you renew.

If you change you phone number (for example, if you move), be sure to register your new number with the National DNCL.

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How can I make sure my number is registered? How do I check the expiry date?

You can verify your registration and the expiry date, online or by phone.

Online:

By phone:

  • Call toll-free 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or
  • Call toll-free 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889) only if you are calling from a TTY device
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Can I remove my telephone number from the National DNCL?

Yes. You can only remove your number by phone.

You must call from the number you want to remove:

  • Call toll-free 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or
  • Call toll-free 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889) only if you are calling from a TTY device

Your number will be removed within 24 hours.

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Can I register telephone numbers for other people?

You can register telephone numbers belonging to others only if they have given you the authority to register for them.

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Can I register my business telephone number?

No. The National DNCL is only for personal telephone numbers.

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If I register my telephone number, how will my information be used and who will have access to it?

Your telephone number will be stored on the National DNCL. Telemarketers must access the National DNCL within 31 days of making telemarketing calls and remove registered numbers from their call lists.

Your telephone number will be accessible to the National DNCL Operator and telemarketers. If you make a complaint about a telemarketer, your number may also be used by the CRTC (or a third party authorized by the CRTC) to investigate your complaint.

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My phone number and/or area code has changed. What do I do?

There are different ways in which your phone number may have changed. Check to see if one of these situations applies.

I have a new phone number because I moved:

You’ll need to register your new telephone number. If the number was registered by a previous owner, the registration may still be in effect. You can remove your old number from the National DNCL, but you don’t have to.

My area code has changed because a new area code was introduced in my region:

Your registration remains in effect. The system automatically updates your area code without extending your registration expiry date.

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When I tried to register by phone, I got a message that my number could not be verified. Why not?

A small percentage of Canadian telephone numbers do not have calling line identification capability which is used by the National DNCL system. In this case, you may:

  • Call the National DNCL Operator during business hours (8:30 am - 4:30 pm) to speak to a representative or
  • Register your phone number online using the National DNCL Web site.

Making a complaint

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How do I make a complaint about a telemarketing call?

If your number is on the National DNCL, and you still receive telemarketing calls more than 31 days after you registered, you can file a complaint.

You can also make a complaint if you have received a telemarketing call that breaks any of the Telemarketing Rules, such as calls made to you outside of allowable calling hours, or calls made using an Automated Dialing-Announcing Device (ADAD).

The full set of Rules can be found on the Telemarketing information page in the Consumers section of the CRTC website. You can also read a condensed version of the Rules in the National Do Not Call List and Telemarketing Rules.

You can make a complaint online or by phone.

Online:

By phone:

  • Call toll-free 1-866-580-DNCL (1-866-580-3625) or
  • Call 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889) only if you are calling from a TTY device.

When filing a complaint, you must provide the following information:

  • name and/or number of the telemarketer
  • date of the telemarketing call
  • nature of the complaint
  • contact information, such as name, address, and telephone number
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How do I make a complaint about a telemarketing fax?

Keep a copy of the fax. You can file your complaint online or by phone. After completing this process, you will receive a Fax ID number.

Clearly print this Fax ID number on the fax you received, then send this fax (with the FAX ID number printed on it) to 1-888-DNCL-Fax (888-362-5329).

You’ll receive a fax confirmation that your original fax was successfully received.

If you do not receive this confirmation, it means that the National DNCL Operator did not receive your fax. Please try again, making sure that the Fax ID number is clearly printed on the page you are faxing.

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What happens to my complaint?

The CRTC will investigate your complaint to determine whether a rule was broken. They may contact you for further information relating to your complaint.

If a telemarketing company has broken the National DNCL Rules or the Telemarketing Rules, the CRTC may impose a penalty of up $1,500 per violation for individuals and up to $15,000 per violation for corporations. For more information, see How the CRTC handles telemarketing complaints.

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I want to make a complaint about a telemarketing call, but I didn’t get the telemarketer's name or telephone number.

In order to investigate your complaint, you must provide either the telemarketer's name or the telemarketer’s phone number, as well as the date of the call.

You may be able to see the telemarketer’s number and name from your telephone’s call display if you subscribe to that calling feature. You may also be able to hear the number of your last caller by dialing *69 (you can subscribe to this Call Return feature or pay a fee per use). If the telemarketer calls again, you can ask for their number and name.

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What else can I do when I have a complaint about a telemarketer?

You can contact the telemarketer directly and have your phone number added to their internal do not call list.

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I have a complaint about privacy and the use of my personal information.

If you feel that an organization’s handling of your personal information breaks applicable privacy laws, contact that organization directly. You can also contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or your provincial privacy commissioner if you have questions.

Examples of privacy laws are the federal Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

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I received a call from someone offering to put my telephone number on the National DNCL for a fee. Should I let them?

No. The National DNCL is a free service to all Canadians, and only you can register your phone number. The phone call you received may have been fraudulent. Contact The Canadian Anti Fraud Center (1-888-495-8501) to let them know about the call.

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How do I withdraw my complaint?

You may withdraw your complaint at any time by contacting the CRTC. The withdrawal of consent for a filed complaint may not result in abandonment of the complaint's investigation. The CRTC can be contacted at:

  • Toll-free: 1-877-249-2782
  • Local number: 819-997-0313
  • Toll-free TTY device: 1-877-909-2782

Effective November 29, 2009 all new telemarketers, clients of telemarketers, or third party organizations are subject to an identification validation process, prior to completing the registration process. The identification validation process is performed in conjunction with Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B®). Registration information you provide the National DNCL operator is transmitted to D&B® and compared with information in the D&B® database. If a match between the registration information provided to the National DNCL operator and D&B® is found, the registration process continues. If no match is found, contact information for D&B® will be provided in order to establish a record. This record is called a D&B D-U-N-S® Number. Once a D&B D-U-N-S® Number is established, please return to the National DNCL website and re-start the registration process.
A telemarketer re-registering to the National DNCL will not be subject to the Dun & Bradstreet® validation process.