Thursday, August 07, 2008

The do-not-call fall

Sometimes things take a while to make it to Canada. The nutrition facts label on pre-packaged food was introduced in the U.S. in 1994. Canadians had to wait until 2005 for a similar labeling scheme. When it comes to the scourge of unwanted telemarketing phone calls it's no different. The U.S. National Do Not Call Registry came into effect in 2003. Five years later, Canada is finally getting a do-not-call list. It should be operational this fall (September 30th, so they say).

The bad news (as I see it) is that there are some exemptions. Even if we sign up, we'll still get calls—whether we want them or not—from charities, political parties, polling companies and companies with whom we have existing business relationships.

I can see the argument for allowing charities to make fundraising calls, but I still disagree. When I give to a charity, I want as much of my donation as possible to go to the cause, not to pay for fundraising. I suspect that a lot of money is wasted on competition between charities.

To plug the holes in the do-not-call legislation, Michael Geist has created a free service called iOptOut that provides automatic opt-out notification to exempted organizations. The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) also has a Do Not Contact Service. It covers mail, telephone, and fax. Note: When the National Do Not Call List comes into effect it will supersede the CMA's telephone service but not its mail service.

Don't call me, I'll call you

At the end of the day, I prefer an opt-in arrangement rather than an opt-out one. And if nobody opts in? Well, I'd say that's just fine.

Consider the U.S. experience:



What do you think? How has the do-not-call system worked in the U.S.? Are the exemptions in the Canadian system warranted?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Win or Die Trying M.P.3 said...

This blog is about Canadians and U.S being capable of blocking phone calls from charities, politic parties etc. However it also has a defect. Even though you can block the calls you still get calls from companies you are in relation with.
I think that this new idea of blocking calls is a pretty good idea to those who don’t like getting those charity and political phone calls. Only those who sign up for this are the ones who are benefiting from this. Maybe the companies as well, but not as much as the customers who sign up.
I really wouldn’t mind having the charities and political parties call my house. Why you ask? Well because some times these phone calls may be important, so important that it could save a life. Nevertheless because of the neglect of those who signed, they won’t be able to get the call. In my opinion I think that blocking calls do have an upside to the situation, but it also has its downside as well.

8:14 AM, August 14, 2008  
Blogger Nick Barrowman said...

I think this is a case where some restrictions on the free market are perfectly reasonable. They may even be to the long-term benefit of charitable organizations.

5:02 PM, August 14, 2008  
Blogger MostEmailedNews.com said...

Don't call you, I'll call me...

- T

www.MostEmailedNews.com

1:57 AM, August 19, 2008  

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