OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) believes evidence in the 2015-2016 Annual Report of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) released today suggest some service providers continue employing practices that violate the spirit of the Wireless Code of Conduct, to the detriment of Canadian consumers.
These questionable practices include:

  • At least one major wireless provider appears to not cap data and roaming charges under shared data plans once they reach $50 and $100 respectively but instead multiplies this threshold by the number of devices activated on the share plan.
  • Another continues to charge customers for the entire month when they cancel service before the end of their monthly bill cycle, instead of charging only for the period until cancellation.

The Annual Report noted the full value of compensation received by customers under the CCTS was $3.44 million in 2015-2016.  “The CCTS works, but only for those few Canadians who know it exists,” noted PIAC Research Analyst Jonathan Bishop. “Service providers are supposed to promote the CCTS, but it is open question how well this is done,” Bishop continued.
According the CCTS Public Awareness Plan, service providers are required to do the following:

  • place on their websites a notice about CCTS and a link to the CCTS website.
  • to place notices about CCTS on customers’ bills four times per year.
  • to notify the customer about the right of recourse to CCTS following the second level of escalation in the company’s complaints process.

PIAC encourages the CCTS to regularly assess its participants’ compliance with the promotional obligations. In March 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) also urged the CCTS to collect this compliance information and publish the results on an annual basis.
For more information please contact:
John Lawford
Executive Director
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
(613) 562-4002 x25
(613) 447-8125 (cell)
Jonathan Bishop
Research & Parliamentary Analyst
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002×23
– 30 –