The Consumers' Association of Canada says it has been inundated with complaints from people who have been called by scam artists after placing their telephone numbers on the registry, which went into effect last September.
The do-not-call list was created to prevent telemarketers from contacting people who do not want to be pestered with uninvited sales pitches. For companies to find out who they are not permitted to call, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission sells the list online for a fee.
"You can buy any list you want of people who subscribe to the do-not-call registry online. The whole of Toronto costs you 50 bucks for 600,000 names," Bruce Cran, president of the CAC, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
"That's just perfect for any telemarketer, because these are good names which they would otherwise have to pay money for to verify. In addition to that, there's no index list of cell phone numbers that you can get. However, people were encouraged to put their cell phone numbers on there as well."
In my book this is about as underhanded as it gets as far as telemarketing goes. Now, I realize that everybody likes making money, but if you have to stoop this low to do it, I think you really have to realize on some basic level that what you're doing is pure and simple wrong.
The real question for me though, is will there ever be an effective system for blocking this kind of thing out? Whether it's spam or telemarketer calls, is there an end in sight, or will the battle just keep escalating for the rest of our lives?