A Montreal-based telemarketing firm accused of defrauding thousands of small businesses is still sending out telephone calls despite facing several criminal charges, according to reports.
Express Transaction Services Inc. (ETS) and some affiliated companies face several charges under the federal Competition Act and Criminal Code, following an investigation and police raids at its Montreal facilities in 2007, the CBC News said.
According to the Competition Bureau, ETS made more than $170 million between 2001 and 2007. The federal Anti-Fraud Centre said thousands of victims were affected.
ETS was charged with fraud and violation under the federal Competition Act. Several individuals linked to ETS and its affiliates also face charges of deceptive telemarketing and misleading representations under the Competition Act, and criminal fraud charges.
ETS purposely sent out products to businesses even if they were never ordered. ETS then had its call centre make repeated phone calls to retrieve payment, according to the Competition Bureau.
CBC News yesterday reported that ETS continues to operate out of its Montreal offices, and small businesses across Canada are still receiving phone calls from the company.
Éric Chenail, an ETS manager charged in Sept. 2011, said his company will be closing by the end of this month due to bad publicity, according to the CBC.
Chenail claimed that complaints from small business only account for “0.001 per cent” of ETS’s business, and that complaints are a normal part of running a business.
He told the CBC that business practices used by the company are sound, and would not comment further because the case is before the courts.
Meanwhile a Brandon, Man., personal trainer Katy Unruh interviewed by CBC said she still dreads receiving a call from ETS.
“When the phone rings I actually get nervous. Because I don’t like to get yelled at,” said Unruh.
Unruh said ETS sent her overpriced cash register paper that she never ordered.
She said the company refused to take the product back, and has been harassing her for a year and a half to pay for it, sometimes calling five or six times a day.