The review by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission of the structure and mandate of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, which provides dispute resolution for Canadian retail consumers of telecommunications and soon television services, supported many positions taken by the Consumers Council of Canada in recent hearings.
The CRTC decision prompts CCTS to:
- Act more boldly to monitor and enforce dispute resolution resulting from telecommunications service providers’ conduct and promote the service CCTS can provide consumers.
- Note in its annual report those service providers who don’t follow the rules by making their customers aware dispute resolution can be obtained through CCTS.
- Make public its budget in its annual report, which would help the public ascertain how CCTS spends its money doing its job.
- Promptly provide to the CRTC the results of a study of public awareness of CCTS that CCTS agreed to conduct.
The CRTC expanded CCTS’s mandate to include addressing complaints related to the provision of subscription television services provided by a television service provider, a step the Council has supported. All licensed TV providers must participate in CCTS by September 2017.
“By giving CCTS responsibility for resolving disputes with both television service providers and telecommunications service providers, CCTS should be able to become more efficient and better known by the public,” said Howard Deane, who represents the Council concerning issues before the CRTC.
“When CCTS gets customer problems to solve, it frequently solves them,” he said. “So, the CRTC very appropriately directed CCTS to enforce upon telecommunications service providers, and now television service providers, their obligation to inform their customers that CCTS exists to help them with their problem — in general and especially when involved in a dispute.”
The Council is one of the consumer groups nationally that nominates two persons to serve among the four ‘independent directors’ on CCTS’s board.
Consumers can tell the Consumers Council of Canada about their experiences with telecommunications and telephone services providers and with CCTS online at:
At the moment, the Council is conducting an online one-question survey for Canadian consumers about their awareness and/or use of CCTS’s service. Consumers can answer the question on the Council’s homepage at: http://www.consumerscouncil.com
The CRTC’s full decision can be downloaded here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-102.pdf