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How does the Do Not Call List work in Canada?

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) is a registry in Canada that allows consumers to opt-out of receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. The DNCL is managed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a government agency responsible for regulating telecommunications in Canada. The DNCL aims to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls and provide consumers with more control over their phone lines.

Here’s how the Do Not Call List works in Canada:

  1. Registration: Canadian residents can register their residential or mobile phone numbers on the National DNCL for free. To register, individuals can visit the DNCL website ( or call the toll-free number provided by the CRTC.
  2. Opt-Out Period: Once a phone number is added to the DNCL, there is a waiting period of 31 days for the registration to take full effect. During this time, telemarketers are expected to update their call lists and remove the registered phone numbers from their database.
  3. Exceptions: The DNCL does not apply to all types of calls. There are some exceptions, such as calls from political parties, charities, and organizations with which the individual has an existing business relationship.
  4. Reporting Violations: If a registered individual receives a telemarketing call after the 31-day waiting period has passed, they can file a complaint with the CRTC. The CRTC investigates complaints related to unsolicited telemarketing calls and takes enforcement actions against companies that violate the rules.
  5. Expiration and Renewal: Phone numbers remain on the DNCL for a period of three years. After three years, individuals must renew their registration if they wish to continue being on the list.

It’s important to note that the DNCL does not eliminate all unwanted calls, as some calls may still come from sources exempt from the list’s regulations. However, it does serve as a useful tool for reducing the number of telemarketing calls received by registered individuals.

It is worth mentioning that the DNCL is for residential and mobile phone numbers only. Business numbers, fax numbers, and non-publicly listed numbers are not eligible for registration on the DNCL.

What do you do if you are on the Do Not Call List and you still get calls?

If you are on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) in Canada and continue to receive unsolicited telemarketing calls after the 31-day waiting period has passed, you can take the following steps to address the issue:

  1. Verify Registration: Double-check that your phone number is indeed registered on the DNCL. You can confirm your registration by visiting the DNCL website ( or calling the toll-free number provided by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
  2. File a Complaint: If you have verified your registration and are still receiving telemarketing calls, file a complaint with the CRTC. You can do this online through the CRTC’s “Unsolicited Telecommunications Complaints” form on their website or by calling the CRTC’s toll-free number for complaints.
  3. Provide Details: When filing a complaint, provide as much information as possible about the unwanted call, such as the date and time of the call, the phone number from which the call originated (if displayed), and the name of the company or organization that made the call (if known).
  4. Keep Records: It’s essential to keep a record of the unwanted calls you receive, including any relevant details mentioned above. Having this information will be helpful when filing a complaint with the CRTC.
  5. Be Patient: After filing a complaint, the CRTC will investigate the matter. However, it may take some time for the investigation to be completed, as they receive a considerable number of complaints.
  6. Report Repeat Offenders: If you continue to receive unwanted calls from the same company or organization after filing a complaint, make sure to report them to the CRTC each time.
  7. Register with the National Do Not Call List again: If your registration on the DNCL is about to expire (after three years), make sure to renew it to continue benefiting from its protections.

Remember that the DNCL does not cover all types of calls, and there are some exemptions, such as calls from political parties, charities, and companies with which you have an existing business relationship. However, telemarketers must adhere to the DNCL rules for covered numbers.

Taking these steps can help address the issue of unsolicited telemarketing calls and contribute to the efforts to reduce unwanted calls for all registered individuals.

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