Bell fined $1.28 million for "do not call" violations

Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:03pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian regulators have fined Bell Canada C$1.3 million ($1.28 million) for violating rules prohibiting telemarketers from phoning consumers on the national "do not call" list .

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said independent telemarketers hired by Bell had called people who had registered for the list, set up in September 2008 to stop unwanted sales pitches.

The calls, made this year between January and October, were made to promote and sell Bell's television, telephone, wireless and Internet services.

Since the violations, Bell said it had taken steps to make sure independent telemarketers strictly comply with government and company rules on telemarketing.

The CRTC also said it had found that Bell Canada had used automated calling devices to contact its prepaid mobile customers without obtaining their consent.

Bell said it would stop the practice and agreed to make a $266,000 payment for research and development at Concordia University in Montreal.

Shares of BCE Inc, the parent company of Bell Canada, closed down 1.46 percent at C$35.20 on Monday on the Toronto stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon)