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Day 1 for do-not-call list brought 1,562 calls a minute, CRTC says

The federal do-not-call list is back up and running after faltering and crashing for most of the first day Tuesday because of a deluge of people trying to register.

The national do-not-call list is back up and running after faltering and crashing for most of the first day Tuesday as a deluge of people tried to register.

The website and phone lines were overwhelmed within hours of the list going active, a sign of just how many Canadians wanted to limit their dealings with telemarketers.

At one point, 80,000 people were trying to access either the website or the phone numbers, said Denis Carmel, spokesman for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

"I'm going to hang a sign on my door that says do not call," joked Carmel.

He admitted the CRTC did not anticipate so many people trying to register their number at once.

In total, the website received nine million hits, and by 4 p.m. Tuesday, with phone lines giving only a busy tone, more than 1.5 million attempts had been made to call in.

That's an average of 93,750 calls per hour every hour between 12:01 a.m. and 4 p.m., or an average of 1,562 calls attempted every minute.

As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, 1,276,414 phone numbers had been registered on the do-not-call list, said Carmel.

The bottleneck that choked off access had eased with fewer people attempting to register and because Bell Canada was able to increase web and telephone capacity.

Telemarketers can be fined

Once your number is on the list, most telemarketers can no longer call you after 31 days. Telemarketers that breach the list could be fined up to $15,000.

People reporting a complaint will be asked to provide the date of the call and the name or phone number of the telemarketer.

There are some exceptions, such as pollsters, researchers, charities, government agencies and companies that already have a relationship with the household.

However, people who do not want to be called even by companies they currently deal with, like cable, phone companies and banks, can ask to be put on those firms' internal do-not-call list.

People can register their phone numbers in three ways. They can sign up online at www.LNNTE-DNCL.gc.ca or call the toll-free number 1-866-580-3625.

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