Canadians continue to need a comprehensive financial consumer code and an ombudsman to address consumer complaints arising under such a code.
In December 2016 the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 47, Protecting Rewards Points Act, prohibiting the expiry dates on reward points programs based on time alone. This led many to conclude this story is over. However, PIAC believes what happens next may provide greater protections for loyalty program members in Ontario.
PIAC provides resources on how to approach car ownership concerns in response to recent letters and email messages from Canadians.
On September 8th, PIAC was invited by the CRTC to represent consumers' views at a hearing held by the CRTC regarding the 'skinny basic' service which was implemented by all Canadian TV providers earlier this year. The hearing served as somewhat of a follow-up on the direction of TV over the last few months.
Air Miles accumulated before 2012 are set to expire at the end of 2016 as Air Miles implements a 5-year expiration policy. As a consequence, consumers struggle to redeem their reward miles before the deadline. PIAC suggests a few silver linings for this cloud of consumer discontent.
Telecommunications service providers are supposed to ensure customers were made aware of CCTS and the independent dispute resolution service they offer through various methods. PIAC asks whether this is happening consistently. The conclusion is communication service providers, the CCTS and the CRTC can do more to raise public awareness of the CCTS going forward.
PIAC discusses the public awareness challenge facing the CCTS, an organization Canadians can approach if they have an unresolved complaint with their telecommunications service provider.
Giving affordable access to essential services is one of the cornerstones to building opportunity for low income Canadians. Currently, there is a question about whether broadband internet is an essential service, like electricity and heat. The CRTC is holding a "Review of Basic Telecommunications Service" proceeding (which we here at PIAC call the "Basic Service" hearing) to decide this question.
As of March 1st, 2016, all subscription TV (cable, IPTV, satellite) providers in Canada will have to offer a 'skinny basic' package, and the option to add on, at least, smaller packages of up to 10 channels or, at their option, à la carte pricing of channels – known as “pick and pay” (true pick and pay for all TV service providers will be required in December 2016).