OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that Canadians will no longer be required to provide advance notice to change their television services. The CRTC is prohibiting television service providers from requiring that Canadians give 30-days notice prior to cancelling these services. This is the first decision further to Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians on the future of television.
The CRTC expects television service providers to end this practice by January 23, 2015, while it makes the necessary changes to its regulations. As part of the CRTC's Let's Talk TV conversation, which included a public hearing that began on September 8, 2014, consumer groups and individual Canadians expressed a desire to see these policies eliminated.
In the same decision, the CRTC is also prohibiting Internet and telephone service providers from requiring that Canadians give 30-days notice prior to cancelling these services. This decision will take effect on January 23, 2015. Many Canadians have expressed frustration with these policies in their complaints to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). According to this industry ombudsman, 30-day cancellation policies were a common complaint about telecommunications services in each of the past three years.
By prohibiting 30-day cancellation policies for television, Internet and telephone (including Voice over Internet Protocol) services, the CRTC has made it easier for individuals and small business customers to take advantage of a competitive marketplace by switching service providers.
The CRTC had previously prohibited similar policies for wireless services with the coming into force of the Wireless Code in December 2013.
These decisions build on the CRTC's commitment to ensure that Canadians benefit from a dynamic marketplace. In 2011, the CRTC issued a policy regarding the customer transfer process to make it easier for Canadians to switch telephone service providers with only one phone call, while keeping the same phone number.
About the CCTS
The CCTS is an independent organization dedicated to working with Canadians and their telecommunications service providers to resolve complaints relating to their telephone, Internet and wireless services. Canadians can contact the CCTS at: www.ccts-cprst.ca, email@example.com or toll-free 1-888-221-1687.
- The CRTC has issued its first decision further to Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians on the future of television.
- The CRTC is making it easier for Canadians to change their television, Internet and telephone services.
- Communication service providers will be prohibited from requiring that their customers give 30-days notice prior to cancelling their services.
- The CRTC has ensured that Canadians are able to switch telephone service providers with only one phone call, while keeping the same phone number.
"We understand the frustration many Canadians feel about having to give 30-days notice, even at the end of a contract term, to change their television, Internet and telephone service providers. Some consumers end up paying two companies for the same service as they transition from one provider to another. In a dynamic marketplace, it should be easy for Canadians to switch providers given that service plans and offers are constantly changing. Today's decision ensures that this is a reality for television, Internet, and telephone, as well as wireless services."
Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-576 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2014/2014-576.htm
Let's Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians
News release: CRTC makes it easier to switch between providers of broadcasting and telecommunications services (March 18, 2011)
SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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