We’ve all had this happen. We finally get dinner on the table and the whole family rounded up. We sit down to eat and the phone rings. We rush to answer it to find it’s a recorded sales pitch. These unsolicited calls can be frustrating to receive but for many businesses and charities, telemarketing is an effective way to conduct business.

Who needs to be licensed?

The law under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act ensures that consumers’ rights and privacy are protected while allowing businesses an efficient way to contact consumers. Generally, any telemarketer who contacts consumers in BC by telephone or fax for the purpose of selling a product or service is required to be licensed with Consumer Protection BC. This also includes telemarketers who contact consumers on behalf of another business.

There are exceptions to who is required to be licensed. For example, charities who call or fax consumers directly do not need to be licensed. However, a third party soliciting you on behalf of another company (or charity) does need to be licensed. You can check the licence search on our website.

When can telemarketers call?

It may feel like you receive a lot of calls, but the law does limit when a telemarketer can call you and how often. Telemarketers are not allowed to call on statutory holidays, but they are able to call on weekends between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (your local time). Also a telemarketer may not contact a consumer more than once in every 30 day period for the same good or service without the consumer’s permission.

You should never feel pressured into making a decision over the phone. You may also choose to register your name with Canada’s National Do Not Call List.


Watch out for charity scams
Everything you wanted to know about telemarketers
Cell phone scams: What do you need to look for?
The Do Not Call List