ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-691

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 14 July 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-691
The Commission has received proposed tariff revisions from TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) dated 3 April 1998, under Tariff Notice (TN) 1033, for the withdrawal of TalkMail service. TalkMail is an enhanced universal voice messaging service that allows customers to leave a message intended for single-line business or residential telephone numbers that are busy or unanswered.
File No.: TN 1033
1.TCI submitted that the costs of operating and maintaining TalkMail service far exceed the service revenues, there is a lack of vendor support for the service, and the availability of other messaging services from the company has resulted in customer confusion with respect to the use of TalkMail. According to TCI, customer confusion has led to dissatisfaction with the service, as well as to increased support costs to those customers.
2.The Commission received comments from the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association (APRCWA) and the Alberta Wheat Pool (AWP). The APRCWA opposed TCI's application, indicating that alternative services represent large cost increases to the Association. AWP requested the Commission delay consideration of the filing to December 1998 to allow AWP to move to other service alternatives. The Commission also received a letter dated 29 April 1998 from Telnet Canada Enterprises expressing its interest in purchasing the TalkMail business unit.
3.In reply comments, TCI indicated that it has met with all of the largest users of TalkMail service, and that among those are APRCWA committees. According to TCI, several of the APRCWA committees throughout the province have since migrated to other messaging alternatives. As for the DeWinton APRCWA (Okotoks exchange), TCI submitted that usage data indicated that message volumes for the "938" exchange are quite small, and that those messages are attributable to business groups, agencies and casual users, rather than the APRCWA.
4.The Commission notes the cost to TCI of maintaining TalkMail service, and that TalkMail is an optional service.
5.In light of the foregoing, the Commission considers withdrawal of TalkMail service to be appropriate. The Commission, however, is of the view that customers should be given more time to migrate to alternative platforms.
6.TCI TN 1033 is accordingly approved, effective 30 October 1998.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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