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ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-8

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Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2004-8

  Ottawa, 23 April 2004
 

L'Union des consommateurs application for costs - Part VII Application with respect to a complaint against Allstream Corp. alleging non-compliance with telemarketing restrictions extended to all telecom service providers, Order CRTC 2001-193

  Reference: 8622-U11-200306135 and 4754-227

1.

By letter dated 19 September 2003, l'Union des consommateurs (UDC) applied for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding initiated by a Part VII application by UDC with respect to a complaint against Allstream Corp. (Allstream) alleging non-compliance with Telemarketing restrictions extended to all telecom service providers, Order CRTC 2001-193, 5 March 2001. The respondent in the Part VII proceeding is Allstream.

2.

On 29 September 2003, Allstream filed comments in answer to UDC's application. UDC filed reply comments on 2 October 2003.
 

The application

3.

UDC submitted that it had met the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) because it represents a group of subscribers that had an interest in the Commission's decision, it participated responsibly in the proceeding and it had contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission through its participation in the proceeding.

4.

UDC requested that the Commission fix its costs at $517 for analyst fees.

5.

UDC submitted that the appropriate respondent in this case was Allstream, as the proceeding only involved Allstream.
 

Answer

6.

In answer to the application, Allstream opposed UDC's entitlement to costs. Allstream submitted that the call complained of in the UDC application was received at a personal residence, that therefore the complaint was made by an individual rather than an association and thus that the appropriate vehicle for complaints was a Part VI application. Further, Allstream submitted that UDC's application did not meet the criteria in section 44 of the Rules as the applicant will not suffer a detriment or receive a benefit as a result of the order or decision resulting from the proceeding and the applicant did not contribute to a better understanding of the issues.
 

Reply

7.

In reply, UDC submitted that the calls complained of were received both at the offices of the UDC and at the residence of M. Jean Sébastien and that therefore it was appropriately raised using a Part VII application. UDC expanded on its earlier statements relating to compliance with the requirements of section 44 of the Rules and submitted that UDC represented all telephone subscribers who were inconvenienced by unsolicited Automatic Dialing-Announcing Device (ADAD) calls and that as the measures taken by Allstream were ineffective in resolving the problem that all telephone subscribers would benefit from a Commission decision in the proceeding. Further, UDC participated in a serious manner because it made efforts to trace the origin of the ADAD calls, to make the complaint to Allstream and to make the application to the Commission. Also, UDC contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission by demonstrating the inconvenience suffered by consumers as a result of unsolicited ADAD calls.
 

Commission analysis and determination

8.

The Commission finds that UDC has satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the Rules. Specifically, the Commission finds that UDC is representative of a group or class of subscribers that has an interest in the outcome of the proceeding, has participated in a responsible way, and has contributed to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission.

9.

The Commission notes that the rates claimed in respect of analyst fees are in accordance with the rates set out in the Legal Directorate's Guidelines for the Taxation of Costs, revised as of 15 May 1998. The Commission also finds that the total amount claimed by UDC was necessarily and reasonably incurred and should be allowed.

10.

The Commission is of the view that this is an appropriate case in which to fix the costs and dispense with taxation, in accordance with the streamlined procedure set out in New procedure for Telecom costs awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2002-5, 7 November 2002.

11.

The Commission finds that the appropriate respondent to UDC's costs application is Allstream.
 

Direction as to costs

12.

The Commission approves the application by UDC for costs with respect to its participation in the proceeding with respect to Allstream's alleged non-compliance with Order 2001-193.

13.

Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the costs to be paid to UDC at $517.

14.

The Commission directs that the award of costs to UDC be paid forthwith by Allstream.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site: http://www.crtc.gc.ca

Date Modified: 2004-04-23