Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA)

Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA)

March 09, 2009 08:00 ET

National Do Not Call List Effective, But Challenges Remain, VoxPop Survey Finds

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 9, 2009) - Eight-in-ten Canadians (80%) who have registered a telephone number with Canada's National Do Not Call List say they now receive fewer telemarketing calls, according to a national VoxPop (Voice of the People) survey by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), which governs and regulates Canada's opinion research industry.

The ground-breaking survey, the first to track the effectiveness of Canada's no-call list since its launch on September 30, 2008, was designed to give Canadians an opportunity to rate the registry's effectiveness at blocking unwanted telemarketer calls.

"The survey shows clearly that Canada's National Do Not Call List is benefiting the great majority of registrants by stemming unwanted telemarketing calls," says VoxPop spokesperson Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of MRIA. "Nationally, 50 per cent of those who have registered report they now receive noticeably fewer or far fewer telemarketing calls; 20 per cent say they now receive slightly fewer telemarketing calls; and 10 per cent report receiving no telemarketing calls at all since signing on to the no-call list."

The not-so-good news on the National DNCL's performance is that 13 per cent of registrants report that they are now receiving more telemarketing calls than before they registered a telephone number - a finding that clearly demonstrates the need for rigourous enforcement of penalties for rogue telemarketers who persist in telephoning people who have registered with Canada's Do Not Call List.

One likely reason why a minority of National DNCL registrants are now receiving more calls than before registering is an upswing in telemarketing using random dialers to call Canadians whether they are on the no-call list or not, Wycks says.

"The data show that the National DNCL list is working, but there appears to have been a significant increase in telemarketing activity using random dialing technology beginning around the time the National DNCL was launched last fall," says Wycks.

"Media reports indicate that there has been is a growing number of complaints from Canadians who have been plagued by rogue telemarketers - many of whom are calling from outside Canada. The most likely reason for this surge in telemarketing activity is the deepening recession, which is causing U.S. telemarketers to look for new business by targeting Canadians. Unfortunately, many of these unscrupulous telemarketers don't care, or are oblivious to the fact that some of the people they are calling with their automated dialing systems are registered on Canada's National Do Not Call List."

The survey also found that:

- awareness of the National DNCL among adult Canadians now stands at 84 per cent, compared with 44 per cent in a previous VoxPop survey conducted in August, 2007.

- 33 per cent of adult Canadians have registered their residential land lines on the National DNCL.

- 12 per cent have registered a cell phone number on the National DNCL.

Findings by province/region

- The number of adults who have registered a telephone number on Canada's National Do Not Call List was highest in Ontario (41%) followed by Alberta (39%), Atlantic Canada (34%), Man/Sask (32%), Quebec (25%) and British Columbia. (22%).

- National DNCL registrants reporting that they now receive fewer telemarketing calls was highest in Atlantic Canada (84%) and Ontario (84%) followed by Quebec (83%), Man/Sask (80%), Alberta (71%) and British Columbia (69%).

- National DNCL registrants reporting that they now receive more telemarketing calls was highest in Alberta (23%) followed by British Columbia (22%), Man/Sask (15%), Atlantic Canada (12%), Ontario (10%), and Quebec (9%).

MRIA's VoxPop survey on Canada's National Do Not Call List was conducted by Harris-Decima via telephone between January 29 and February 15, 2009, with a national random sample of 2,035 adult Canadians aged 18 years and over and is considered accurate to within ± 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

This survey is part of a series from VoxPop, MRIA's campaign to give voice to Canadians and demonstrate how public opinion research strengthens Canada's democracy by giving people a say in decisions by governments and corporations. VoxPop: You speak. We listen. Things improve.

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