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A CRTC logo is shown in Montreal, Monday, September 10, 2012. (Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A CRTC logo is shown in Montreal, Monday, September 10, 2012. (Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Persuasion Notebook

CRTC fines Weed Man for do-not-call breaches Add to ...

Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail’s marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter@Susinsky.

The Weed Man has become an invasive species.

The lawn care services brand has been taken to task over a violation of the country’s telemarketing rules, Canada’s federal telecommunications regulator announced Friday.

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Turf Operations Group, which owns Weed Man franchises across the country, has paid a $200,000 fine, after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission found that it was making telemarketing calls to Canadians who were registered on the National Do Not Call List over a nearly two-year period.

“This latest settlement should serve as a reminder to anyone making telemarketing calls of the importance of following the rule,” the CRTC’s chief compliance and enforcement officer for related products, Manon Bombardier, said in a statement. “Canadians who have registered their number on the National Do Not Call List have made a choice not to receive telemarketing calls, and this choice must be respected at all times.”

The CRTC investigation found that the parent company and its Weed Man subsidiaries in Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, Ont., Scarborough, Ont., and Surrey, B.C. violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Between October 3, 2011, and June 25, 2013, the group had called people whose numbers were on the DNCL or who “should have been on its internal do-not-call lists” because of direct do-not-call requests from consumers.

In addition to the fine, the company will have to review its operations to make sure it does not reoffend and appoint a compliance officer focused on the telemarketing rules. It will also have to run a training program for employees and more closely track and record complaints about its telemarking.

The CRTC says it has handed out $3.6-million in penalties so far in its enforcement efforts related to the telemarketing rules.

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