Telemarketing is defined as unsolicited telecommunications with existing or potential clients to promote financial products and services. Any CSF-member advisor that chooses to use telemarketing must follow the rules established by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

If the advisor conducts business prospecting by phone, Internet, or mail, they must create a list of names from information that they have on their clients—that is, a list of names and contact information of natural persons. In doing so, they must still adhere to the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector (ARPPIPS), which includes the obligation to give their clients the opportunity to refuse for their contact information to be included in their list of names.

The advisor may also acquire such a list from a third-party private company, or send their own list to a third-party private company. If so, they must have a contract that includes the methods for this transfer, including a clause limiting the use of the list for business prospecting purposes, and obtain advance consent from people whose personal information is included on the list.

The law also requires that the advisor maintain their own list of people who do not want to be solicited.

In 2005, the National Do Not Call List (National DNCL) was created by the CRTC. This list includes the phone numbers of all consumers who requested to not be solicited by telemarketers (by phone or fax).

Anyone who conducts telemarketing must register for the National DNCL and not call the phone numbers that are included on it. National DNCL registration is free and can be done online.

Registering for this list does not exempt the advisor from maintaining an “internal” list of people who do not want to be solicited. Also, depending on the type of calls they make, the advisor may need to subscribe to the National DNCL.

The advisor may contact a consumer whose name is listed on the National DNCL if they obtained their express (formal) consent or if they already have a business relationship with this person. A business relationship exists in each of the following examples:

  • The client purchased a product or service from the advisor within the eighteen months preceding the telecommunication.
  • The consumer presented a request to the advisor, including an information request, within the six months preceding the telecommunication.
  • A contract was signed between the consumer and the advisor and this contract is still in effect, or reached expiration within the eighteen months preceding the telecommunication

The consumer may still advise the advisor of their refusal to be solicited despite the existing business relationship. This consumer must then be included on the advisor’s internal list for this purpose.

In addition to registration, the CRTC requires that the advisor subscribe to the National DNCL for each area code they use when conducting telemarketing with existing or potential clients to offer specific products they have not previously discussed with them, or to invite them to an informational meeting, for example.

Telemarketing may be conducted between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, and between 10:00 a.m. And 6:00 p.m. on weekends. When a person answers the advisor’s call, they must identify themselves and name the company for which they work, indicate the purpose of their call, and inform the person that their name may be removed from the list of names at any time. To this end, the advisor must provide their contact information to this person so they can contact them.