14. November 2011, 20:19 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

An open letter to the governments of Canada and the United States of America.

1 November 2011


For a number of years now both the United States and Canada have had a national “Do Not Call” list where residents can list their telephone number and thus indicate to companies, organizations and assorted other telemarketers in their respective countries that they do not wish to be contacted. Violators may face stiff penalties.

The problem is that the most pernicious, and often malicious, of the telemarketers simply border hop. United States marketing groups use call centre operations in Canada to call the United States, thus getting around the United States DNC list. Similarly, Canadian groups use call locations in the United States to get around the Canadian DNC list. And there are those who use both DNC lists as a source of verified telephone numbers, Thousands of people are contacted every day by such organizations despite their best efforts not to be so intruded upon.

May I propose that representatives of the appropriate departments and agencies in Canada and the United States get together and create an “International Do Not Call” list, a blending of the two existing lists, that would apply in both countries together with stiff penalties for violations. These penalties should be greater than those for national violations when the perpetrator is using international centers to cold call back into their own country; as in such a case, the perpetrators are deliberately trying to circumvent the law in their own country. While this may simply cause many telemarketers and scammers to move call centres to other countries, international calling rates and other regulations may at least inhibit, if not make such moves completely unprofitable.

I am sure the actual creation and implementation of such a system would be far more complicated than my brief summary above but would in the long run benefit all individual citizens of both countries. Once such a framework was in place it could even be extended to other countries who might wish to participate (Mexico and some Caribbean nations come to mind) creating a truly International Do Not Call list.

While I am sure you have far more serious matters on your agendas, I hope you will find this idea worthy of your time and consideration.

Respectfully Yours,

W. Dean Milner

E-mail copies to:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Barak Obama
President, United States of America

Mr. Jon Leibowitz
Chairman, Federal Trade Commission


Addendum: Canada has recently started up talks about an International Do Not call List with Australia. In all the years I have been old enough to be cognizant about telephone calls, I have seen a wrong number, let alone a telemarketer call from the other side of the world.

Addendum: Correspondence can no longer be e-mailed to the Whitehouse, you must use an online form. Letter was retransmitted using same.

Addendum: The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission is apparently no longer available via e-mail as it bounces. Indeed an examination of the Commission’s web site shows no contact e-mail addresses for any department or person. Rather surprising and a little disappointing in this day and age. Message was retransmitted via the consumer contact e-mail on the DoNotCall website with a request to forward.

Addendum: I have posted any received replies in the comments section.

- 30 -

Categories: ,
Keywords: open letter,Canadad,United States,Do Not Call,international,Stephen Harper,Barak Obama


Consumer Response Center Thu Nov 17, 04:24 PM

Thank you for your suggestions. Please know that the FTC is continuously working to improve the Registry, and we appreciate your comments.

(Apparently an automated response. - wdm)


Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to share your views. I appreciate hearing from you and value your input.

My Administration is working to address the serious challenges our Nation faces. I am committed to taking immediate steps that generate job creation and economic recovery, and I am determined to make investments that lay a new foundation for real and lasting progress.

As I move forward on key initiatives, I am making my Administration the most open and transparent in history. Part of delivering on that promise is hearing from people like you. I take seriously your opinions and respect your point of view. Please know that your concerns will be on my mind in the days ahead.

Thank you, again, for writing. I encourage you to explore, which is regularly updated and more interactive than ever before.


Barack Obama

(Apparently an automated response. - wdm)

WDM Tue Jan 31, 05:51 PM

To date I have received no response, human or automated, from either the Canadian Prime Minister’s office or the Minister of Heritage under whose aegis the Do Not Call List falls.


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