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March 24, 2021

Who is Canada's worst telemarketer?

There’s no shortage of reasons Seinfeld  is the greatest sitcom to grace television, but what sets the show even further apart is its ability to speak for the masses.

Istockphoto_14442376-man-yelling-into-a-phone-isolated So when, in the fourth season, Jerry gets a pesky call from a telemarketer, he says exactly what we’d all like to.

-“Oh, gee, I can’t talk right now,” he says to the caller, who’s promoting a new long distance phone plan. “Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later?”
-“Uh, well, I’m sorry,” the telemarketer replies. “We’re not allowed to do that.”
-“Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home.”
-“(pause) No.”
-“Well, now you know how I feel.”


Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most referenced scenes from the show, and – wouldn’t you know it? – it’s relevant again.

Rarely do Canadians get to fight back against telemarketers. Best we can do is, while someone leaves the dinner table to answer an inopportune call, scream, “Check who it is first! So help you God, don’t answer that phone if it’s not from a number you recognize!” At least, that’s the routine my parents always do.

But today is a day when telemarketers get their due. According to the Canadian Press, Rogers Communications is getting dinged $275,000 for their too-aggressive automated calling practices, having been caught spamming its prepaid mobile customers with robo-messages on how to buy more minutes.

The CRTC brought down the hammer on Rogers (who will donate the $275,000 to two Canadian schools) and it’s not the first time the watchdog has cracked down. Last December, according to CP, it charged Bell Canada $1.3 million for breaking telemarketing rules, which dictate companies can’t subject customers to automated calls without their prior consent.

Anyhow, hopefully every Rogers customer sleeps a little easier tonight knowing they haven’t been alone in getting hassled by the company’s telemarketers. Yet the ruling also lets us highlight Rogers, Bell and other notorious, ruthless solicitors.

Who routinely spams you with telemarketing phone calls? Who is Canada’s worst telemarketer?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...