OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, March 17, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that Canadians will be able to turn to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) for help in resolving issues about their television service providers. All licensed television service providers will have to become members of the CCTS by September 1, 2017.
The CRTC had previously announced that the CCTS would administer the new Television Service Provider Code when it comes into effect. This Code will help Canadians make more informed choices about their television service providers and resolve disputes in a fair and effective manner.
The CRTC has also confirmed the continued participation of Telecommunications Service Providers as members of the CCTS.
As a result, if a Canadian cannot resolve a complaint with a communications service provider – regardless if it is a television service provider, Internet service provider, wireless service provider or telephone service provider - the CCTS will become the single point of contact for obtaining a resolution.
The CCTS is required to promote its services and measure its public awareness activities, ensure that its services and website are accessible to all Canadians, improve the transparency of its operations and monitor the compliance of service providers with their obligations as participants.
The CCTS is an independent organization that currently helps customers of communications service providers to resolve complaints. The organization handles over 10,000 complaints each year. It can require communications service providers to provide customers compensation in addition to any amount to be refunded to correct a billing error.
- The CRTC will require that all licensed television service providers participate in the CCTS.
- Over 80% of television subscribers obtain their television services from a licensed cable or satellite company.
- Television Service Providers that serve fewer than 20,000 subscribers and that are owned by a licensed television service provider will also need to participate in the CCTS.
- Canadians must first contact their communication service provider to resolve any disputes before contacting the CCTS.
- The CRTC held a public hearing in November 2015 to review of the structure and mandate of the CCTS.
- If the CCTS determines that a service provider has not met its obligations to the consumer, it can require the company to:
- provide an explanation or an apology to the consumer
- undertake to do or cease a specified activity or activities, and
- provide monetary compensation (maximum of $5,000 per complaint) to the consumer for losses associated with certain complaints which are in addition to any reimbursements for billing errors.
"Since 2007, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services has been providing a valuable service to Canadian consumers of telecommunications services by helping them resolve their complaints. With an increasing number of Canadians taking advantage of bundled offers including local voice, wireless, Internet, and television services offered by the same communications service provider, ensuring a single point of contact to deal with their complaints has never been more important."
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman
Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-102
Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services
Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-239
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-104
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-105
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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
For further information: Contacts: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423