You Have an Existing Business Relationship (EBR), but Does This Give You Opt-In to Robo-Call Your Customer?

Author: Ivan Kovacevic
When can you telemarket to customers

To elaborate on a common misconception about the CRTC ADAD (pre-recorded messaging, voice broadcasting, blasting, robo-calling) rules for solicitation (sales) type calls:

Existing Business Relationship (EBR) is NOT sufficient to enable an organization to make pre-recorded calls. A customer must give express consent (see below) to be solicited via ADAD (seldom done). Charities are not exempted. 

There are other restrictions to consider (NDNCL, Time of day, etc.) as well as exceptions (non-solicitation notifications, political calls, market research).

Also, organizations tend to confuse CASL with Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, thinking that it is one and the same, and it is not. Permission and consent under CASL, unless worded in a way to cover both, does not translate into automatic permission for ADAD solicitation.

CRTC has been very active in finding organizations that do not follow the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. You can see the list of past decisions and penalties on the CRTC web site (fun read).

Express Consent

Receive consent before robocalling customers

For the purposes of the requirements set out in Part II, sections 4 and 5, and Part IV, sections 2 and 3, accepted forms of express consent are

a) written consent, including a completed application form signed by the consumer giving consent to be contacted by way of telecommunications;

b) oral consent, including

(i) oral consent verified by an independent third party;

(ii) oral consent, where an audio recording of the consent is retained by the telemarketer or client of the telemarketer;

c) electronic consent through the use of a toll-free number;

d) electronic consent via the Internet; or

e) consent through other methods as long as a documented record of consumer consent is created by the consumer or by an independent third party.

For more details, please see the CRTC web site:

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