ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8638-C12-46/00 - 2 April 2001 Meeting ofthe Committee on Bill Management Tools and Access to Telephone Service: Followup to Order CRTC 2000-393
This page has been archived on the Web
Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.
Ottawa, 15 March 2001Our file: 8638-C12-46/00
To: Distribution list (see attachment)
Re: 2 April 2001 Meeting of the Committee on Bill Management Tools and Access to Telephone Service: Follow up to Order CRTC 2000-393
As announced in Order CRTC 2000-393, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is setting up a Committee to look at new initiatives to promote Bill Management Tools (BMTs) (explained in more detail below) and facilitate access to telephone service. You are invited to participate in the BMT Committee and to suggest others who could help the BMT Committee reach our objectives.
The Commission is committed to improving, in the very near term, the promotion of BMTs to ensure that customers can more easily obtain telephone service or remain on the network. The BMT Committee also provides an opportunity for us to address, together, other consumer matters relating to the provision of telephone service, including "consumer literacy" issues. For example, the Commission believes that billing improvements, such as bills that are routinely more detailed or itemized, could assist residential customers. The Commission is hopeful that the work of the BMT Committee over the next few months will result in a consensus on these and other issues. Even if the BMT Committee reaches no consensus, however, the Commission intends to move forward on these issues very promptly.
The 2 April 2001 Meeting
The first meeting of the BMT Committee will be held on Monday, 2 April 2001, in Hull, Quebec at the Place du Portage Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, in the Pontiac room, from 10h00 to 16h30. CRTC Chairman, David Colville, and Commissioner Barbara Cram will attend the April 2nd meeting along with Commission staff and invited consumer and telephone company representatives. Translation services will be provided.
Please confirm, no later than Monday, 19 March 2001, whether you or your delegate will be able to attend (and, if so, provide the names, titles and full contact information for all persons from your organization who will attend). You may do this by contacting the Commission's consumer policy analyst, Philippe Tousignant, who will be the BMT Committee co-ordinator, at 819-997-1334, or by fax 819-997-4610, or by e-mail: email@example.com.
When we have received your reply, and the replies of other invitees, we will send you a list of all participants. We expect to be able to send you this list by 21 March 2001.
What are BMTs?
BMTs are means by which a residential telephone subscriber can exercise control over his or her bill. These tools are meant to help consumers who have difficulty paying. At the present time, the Commission has required two BMTs to be offered by all telephone companies within its jurisdiction: (1) a toll-restrict option (allowing customers, without charge, to block outbound long distance calls and inbound collect calls) and (2) an installment payment plan (that allows a customer to spread connection service charges over a period of up to six months).
What are the BMT Committee's objectives?
The Commission's objectives for the BMT Committee are threefold:
To optimize Bill Management Tools (BMTs) to facilitate access to telephone service by:
better promoting existing BMTs; and
determining if additional BMTs are needed and, if so, implementing them.
To optimize the information content and design of bills to facilitate access to telephone service by measures such as:
deciding on the appropriate provision of itemized or detailed billing information; and
deciding on the need for the provision of additional consumer information via billing inserts (e.g. on topics such as information on how to complain, telemarketing restrictions and consumer rights).
To implement other "consumer literacy" improvements to facilitate consumers' access to telephone service, such as:
the review of white-pages information and design to better address needs of consumers with a focus on plain language writing (e.g. to attract the attention of consumers to BMTs, terms of service, consumer rights, and other issues);
consumer-oriented publications; and
consumer-oriented websites on telecommunication services.
What are the objectives of the first BMT Committee meeting?
It will be important for us, at the first BMT Committee meeting, to focus on how the members of the BMT Committee can most effectively proceed to achieving the objectives set out above, bearing in mind the Commission's intention to move forward on these issues very promptly. We anticipate that much of the meeting will be spent on the development of a workplan that will do just that. We expect that a second meeting will take place within a period of approximately four (4) weeks (i.e. in early May).
In order to use our time together most efficiently on April 2nd, and to ensure that all participants have important information available to them in advance of the BMT Committee meeting, the Commission requires all telephone companies who have been invited to attend to provide the following information to the Commission and to all other participants no later than Wednesday, 28 March 2001:
copies of all existing Tariff (including Terms of Service) provisions on billing, BMTs, security deposits, and deferred payment plans;
sample copies of white-pages directory information intended to provide information relevant to residential subscribers on billing, BMTs and access to telephone service;
sample bills (both itemized and non-itemized and details on how often itemized bills are sent to residential subscribers);
samples of recent billing inserts on consumer issues; and
a summary of BMTs promotion and the take-rate for each BMT offered by the company.
Your participation is most welcome
We hope that you will be able to join the BMT Committee and attend the first meeting on 2 April 2001. Please let us know by March 19th whether or not you will be there by contacting the BMT Committee Co-ordinator, Philippe Tousignant at 819-997-1334 (or by fax at 819-997-4610, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also call Philippe should you wish to discuss any aspect of the meeting further or obtain more information. Moreover, if there are organizations that you think we should be sure to invite, please let us know so we can contact them directly.
Ps: Order 2000-393 is available on the Commission web site at the following address:
Aliant Telecom Inc.
Mr. Mark Connors
Mr. Robert F. Farmer
MTT/ Island Telecom Inc.
Mr. Donald D. MacDonald
MTS Communications Inc.
Mr. Roy Bruckshaw
Mr. Richard A. Stephen
NewTel Communications Inc.
Mr. Mark Connors
Mr. Dallas Yeulett
M. Alain Carmicheal
TELUS Communications Inc.
Mr. Willie Grieve
Association des Compagnies de Téléphone
M. Serge D Desy
Mr. Rick Cushing
Société d'administration des tarifs
M. Stephen Bray
Northern Telephone Limited
Ms. Molly Slywchuk
Ontario Telecommunications Association (OTA)
Mr. Garry E. Mallette
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Mr. Michael Janigan
Action Réseau Consommateur et
National Anti-Poverty Organisation
Consumer Association of Canada
Phone: (613) 238-2533
Mr. Byron Williams
Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus
Mr. William Gleberzon
B.C. Old Age Pensioners' Organization
Mr. Richard J Gathercole
Government of the Northwest Territories
Mr. Peter Dunn
Government of Nunavut
Mr. Ken O'Neill
Government of Yukon
Mr. Terry Hayden
- Date modified: