Hooray, Canada finally has a National Do Not Call List!

Have you registered yet? If you tried and got a “service not available” message, try again in a few minutes. The site seems to get bogged down, no doubt in the huge numbers of people trying to register. (Update: “unexpected” high volumes crashed the server. Duh!) It would be much friendlier if the message said, “Sorry, we’re dealing with a high volume of traffic. Please try again in a few minutes!”

If the system was designed to suit consumers, our numbers would already be on the list. Those of us who want to talk to telemarketers (are there any?) would just opt out. Instead, we have to opt in by registering each number, one at a time.

A question in the FAQ (no doubt submitted by a marketer) says, “There are some telemarketing calls I don’t mind receiving” and wonders how to allow certain calls.  Ha, ha! Good one! Oh, they’re serious. Well, in that case, rest assured if you give your express consent to call — verbally, in writing or online — that company can still call. Also, Canadian registered charities, newspapers and political parties and candidates, newspapers are also permitted to call you.

The other exception is companies you’ve done business with over the previous six months, because they’re considered to have a relationship with you. I like that distinction. It’s an important one that marketers would do well to remember.  Build a relationship first, then try to sell me. Otherwise, your calls are just so much spam.

Speaking of which, can we please get an effective way of getting rid of email spam?