Ontario Consumers Home Services and Blue Dream must pay $260,000 in penalties for their telemarketing activities

News release

September 9, 2019 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect Canadians from nuisance calls and faxes, the CRTC today imposed a $194,330 penalty on Ontario Consumers Home Services (also known as Simply Comfort) and a $69,000 penalty on Blue Dream for violating the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

Between December 2016 and February 2017, Ontario Consumers Home Services committed more than a million violations of the Rules. During that period, the company made over 96,000 unsolicited calls to Canadians whose numbers were on the National Do Not Call List (DNCL), some of which were outside of the permitted hours. The company also failed to subscribe to the list.

For its part, between September 2016 and July 2018, Blue Dream sent telemarketing faxes to consumers who had registered their numbers on the National DNCL or had asked the company to add their numbers on its internal do-not-call list. Moreover, the company failed to subscribe to the National DNCL for all the area codes that it contacted for telemarketing purposes. This is the second time the CRTC has imposed a penalty to Blue Dream for non-compliant telemarketing faxes.

Quotes

“Companies who do business in Canada simply can’t overlook the rules. Negligent and non-compliant entities, especially those that repeatedly break the rules, need to understand that they will be held to account for the nuisance they cause Canadians. We thank all those who submitted complaints about these two companies, which helped us conduct a thorough investigation.”

- Steven Harroun, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, CRTC

Quick facts

  • Ontario Consumers Home Services, also known as Simply Comfort, was active in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sector, while Blue Dream engages in window and door installation and in flyer delivery services.

  • The CRTC is committed to protecting Canadians and is continuing to enhance its monitoring to ensure that all telemarketers follow the rules.

  • The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules are a set of strict rules that individuals, companies and organizations must follow when making telemarketing telecommunications.

  • To date, the CRTC’s enforcement efforts have yielded over $9 million in monetary penalties.

  • Companies can access the National DNCL online by registering their organization and purchasing a subscription.

  • A telemarketing telecommunication is restricted to the following hours: 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends. These hours are those of the consumer receiving the telecommunication.

  • Canadians can register their fax number on the National DNCL online or by fax, to 1-888-DNCL-Fax.

  • Canadians can register their phone number online or by phone, to 1-866-580-DNCL or to 1-888-DNCL-TTY for people who are hard of hearing.

  • Canadians can file a complaint with the National DNCL Operator about unwanted telemarketing faxes or calls, online or by phone.

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