New code to help TV subscribers make informed choices in a competitive marketplace
OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 30, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is pleased to announce that as of September 1, 2017, the Television Service Provider Code will come into effect. The Code was created to help Canadians make informed choices about their television service provider and resolve disputes in a fair and effective manner.
Starting September 1, television service providers must:
- Provide customers with a Critical Information Summary and a copy of the agreement which includes a list of channels or packages they subscribe to, their monthly charges for services, the commitment period and how to file complaints.
- Clearly set out the duration of promotional offers, the regular price once any discounts end, and any obligations placed on a consumer if they accept the offer, such as a minimum commitment period.
- Provide customers with a timeframe and information on any potential charges regarding service calls for installations and repairs.
- Give thirty days' notice to consumers in the event of a change in price of channels, bundles of channels or rental equipment.
The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) will administer the Code. Anyone unable to resolve a dispute directly with their television service provider can file a complaint with the CCTS, but only about issues that took place after the September 1 effective date. Complaints can be filed using an interactive questionnaire at www.ccts-cprst.ca.
- During the Let's Talk TV proceedings many Canadians expressed their frustrations over television service providers not always providing adequate information about service packages and pricing.
- In 2015, the CRTC published a draft Television Service Provider Code for comment and a final version the following year.
- The Code is mandatory for most television service providers, which includes cable, satellite and Internet Protocol television providers.
- Canadians with disabilities will be entitled to a 30-day trial period to determine whether the service meets their needs, and television service providers must provide them with copies of their agreement in alternative format free of charge, upon request.
- The Code sets out new rules for the handling of customer requests to add or remove channels or packages, service calls, service outages and disconnections
- The CCTS is an independent organization created to help consumers unable to resolve complaints, on their own, with their television and telecommunications service providers.
- The CCTS can resolve complaints about billing disputes, service delivery, compliance with contract terms and credit management. Consumers with complaints about broadcast content should continue to contact the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
- The CCTS can require communications service providers to compensate customers, in addition to any amount to be refunded to correct a billing error.
"Canadians will be more empowered in their relationships with television service providers. Starting September 1, they will have access to information about their packages in a clear and easy-to-understand format. Moreover, having the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services administer the Code will make it convenient for Canadians to have all their complaints related to their communications services handled by one body."
Judith A. LaRocque, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC
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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free: 1 (877) 249-CRTC, (2782), TTY: (819) 994-0423