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Telemarking firm charged

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Several years ago CanadaOne warned our readers to be ware of Datacom Publishing, a telemarketing firm that was signing people up for a "Canadian business directory". Today the Competition Bureau announced that is has charged several people and the three businesses that ran a deceptive telemarketing scheme over a ten year period.

Charged from the Toronto area are Judy Neinstein, 62, Toronto; Bernard Fromstein, 54, Oakville; and Paul Barnard, 54, Ajax. Two others were charged for their involvement in the alleged scam, operating out of Montreal: James Sharo, 56, St-Hubert, and George Pavlopoulos, 35, St-Hubert. Also charged are the companies Datacom Marketing Inc. (Ontario 1431798), Datacom Direct Inc. (Ontario 1417524) and the Quebec affiliate Datacom Marketing Inc., Quebec registration number 1149885080.

The Bureau alleges that at the height of its operation in 2002, Datacom scammed over 50,000 Canadian and American businesses out of more than $23 million. According to Bureau estimates, Datacom's volume of commerce during the investigation period was over $150 million.

As part of the alleged scam, Datacom telemarketers contacted small and medium-sized businesses in Canada and the United States, claiming that they were updating information in their business directory listings. The telemarketers implied that the business had ordered a listing in the past and that someone in the company had already authorized an order.

The telemarketers failed to disclose important information, such as which company they represented, the price of the directory, the terms and conditions to return it, the purpose of the call and the nature of the product, as required by the telemarketing provision of the Competition Act. The businesses subsequently received a business directory, which they likely would not have ordered had it not been for the false representations.

In the past CanadaOne received several complaints from businesses that had been contacted by Datacom due to the similarity of the name of our free business directory and the directory that Datacom produced.

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