ARCHIVED - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-6

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Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-6

  Ottawa, 13 June 2003

Consumer bill of rights

  Reference: 8665-C12-200307365
  In this public notice, the Commission invites comments on issues related to developing a consumer bill of rights.


The Commission notes that many of the basic rights of consumers pertaining to tariffed telephone services are currently found in the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) Terms of Service, which are published in the introductory pages of the ILECs' telephone directories (the white pages). The Commission further notes that the white pages also contain other information related to consumers' rights, such as the services to which TTY/teletypewriter users are entitled and the conditions under which customers can obtain directory assistance without charge. The Commission also notes that other consumer rights can be found in Commission rulings, such as Telecom Order CRTC 98-626, 26 June 1998, which established, among other things, that persons who are blind could obtain billing statements in alternative formats.


In Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002, (Decision 2002-34) and in Implementation of price regulation for Télébec and TELUS Québec, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-43, 31 July 2002 (Decision 2002-43) (collectively, the price cap decisions), the Commission found that the Terms of Service and the white pages were difficult to understand in some places. In the price cap decisions, the Commission also noted that there might be cases in which an ILEC's Terms of Service and white pages did not contain all of the rights of consumers, or all the information necessary for an accurate understanding of consumer rights.


In the price cap decisions, the Commission concluded that it would be useful to develop a consumer bill of rights (CBOR) that would be a comprehensive and concise statement of consumer rights. In the price cap decisions, the Commission indicated its intent to initiate a public proceeding to consider detailed submissions on a CBOR's content and related issues.

Call for comments


The Commission hereby initiates a proceeding to develop a CBOR. This CBOR will apply to regulated telecommunication services offered on a retail basis by the ILECs that are made parties to this proceeding.


The Commission expects that the CBOR will comprise a list of clear and concise statements of existing consumer rights written in plain language. The Commission expects that each of the statements will set out a consumer right and be followed by a short text that clarifies its meaning and extent.


The Commission invites parties to propose consumer rights to be included in the CBOR. The Commission requires that parties who propose a right for inclusion in the CBOR provide the exact wording of the statement of the right and of the accompanying text related to each statement. The Commission emphasizes that since the CBOR is intended to provide consumers with information about their rights, it is important that consumers easily understand these rights. Parties should therefore ensure that their proposed statements and accompanying text are concise, accurate, and clear. The Commission also requires that parties that propose a right for inclusion in the CBOR identify the documentary sources related to the right, such as the relevant Commission ruling or tariff.


The Commission requests that parties, in their initial submissions, recommend methods to communicate the CBOR to consumers and to all others who might be affected by it. Parties are to address, in detail, the means, the extent and the frequency of such communications.


In addition, the Commission invites parties to address whether or not there is a need for an amendment process specific to the CBOR and, if so, to propose the appropriate amendment process.


To facilitate the comparison and analysis of the submissions it receives, parties should organize their proposed inventory of consumer rights under the following categories:
  a) access to services (which could, for example, include statements regarding the obligation to provide service);
  b) privacy (which could, for example, include statements regarding the confidentiality of customer information);
  c) payment (which could, for example, include statements regarding payment plans);
  d) customer relations (which could, for example, include statements regarding dispute resolution); and
  e) customer information (which could, for example, include statements regarding customer notices).


In the price cap decisions, the Commission concluded that it would be appropriate to await the completion of the CBOR proceeding before deciding whether it was necessary to review the Terms of Service. Such a review is therefore outside the scope of this proceeding. The Commission also excludes from the scope of this proceeding any change to current policies, rules and regulations, other than the development of the CBOR itself.


Finally, the Commission will initiate a proceeding regarding enforcement of the rights contained in the CBOR, once the CBOR has been approved.



Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications, Société en commandite Télébec, TELUS Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications (Québec) Inc., (the ILECs) are made parties to this proceeding.


The Commission directs the ILECs to send to their local telephone subscribers a bill insert containing the following message:

Consumers' bill of rights


The CRTC* is responsible for regulating the providers of telephone service in Canada.


It has decided to create a "consumers' bill of rights".


The consumers' bill of rights will set out the rights you have as a telephone user.


The CRTC wants to know which of your rights as a telephone user you believe should be included in the consumers' bill of rights.


You can send your suggestions in any one of three ways:


· by mail to CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2


· by fax to (819) 953-0795


· by e-mail to


Please send your ideas by 21 January 2004.


For more information, call the CRTC at 1-877-249-2782.
This is a free call.


You can also check the CRTC web site at


*The CRTC is the "Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission".


To ensure that this message is as readable as possible, the Commission requires each of the ILECs to print this message as a bill insert, in at least 11 point font, using dark blue or black ink on white or cream paper. Each ILEC is to send the message to each of its local telephone subscribers in at least the language(s) currently used to communicate with that subscriber. Where applicable, each ILEC is to send the insert in the alternative format currently used to communicate with that customer. The insert shall bear no logo.


Each of the ILECs shall ensure that the insert is received by their local telephone subscribers no later than 12 August 2003.


Persons other than the ILECs who wish to participate fully in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by 14 July 2003. They should contact the Secretary General by mail at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, by fax at (819) 953-0795 or by e-mail at . They are to indicate in the notice their e-mail address where available. If such parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings.


The Commission will issue, as soon as possible after the registration date, a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses (including their e-mail addresses, if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.


Any persons who wish merely to file written comments in this proceeding, without receiving copies of the various submissions, may do so by submitting their comments in writing to the Commission at the address noted in paragraph 16 by 21 January 2004.


The Commission invites parties to file submissions with the Commission by 27 August 2003,serving a copy on all other parties. Research studies that parties wish to refer to in this proceeding are to be submitted during this stage so that other parties may have the opportunity to address interrogatories with respect to them.


This proceeding will have an interrogatory process. Parties may address questions to any party that filed submissions and to any of the ILECs that did not file submissions. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on the interested party or parties in question by 27 October 2003.


Responses to all interrogatories are to be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 26 November 2003.


Requests by parties for further responses to their interrogatories, specifying in each case why a further response is both relevant and necessary, and requests for public disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed, setting out in each case the reasons for disclosure, must be filed with the Commission and served on all relevant parties by 11 December 2003.


Written responses to requests for further responses to interrogatories and for public disclosure must be filed with the Commission and served on the party making the request by 18 December 2003.


A determination will be issued with respect to requests for further information and public disclosure as soon as possible, and it is expected that any information to be provided pursuant to that determination will be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 5 January 2004.


Parties may file argument with the Commission, serving a copy on all other parties by 4 February 2004. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.


Parties may file reply argument with the Commission, serving a copy on all other parties by 19 February 2004.


Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.


Parties may file their submissions electronically or on paper. Submissions longer that five pages should include a summary.


Where the submission is filed by electronic means, the line ***End of document*** should be entered following the last paragraph of the document as an indication that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.


Please note that only those submissions electronically filed will be available on the Commission's web site and only in the official language and format in which they are submitted.


Each paragraph of your submission should be numbered.


The Commission also encourages parties to monitor the record of this proceeding (and/or the Commission's web site) for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.

Location of CRTC offices


Submissions may be examined or will be made available promptly upon request at the Commission offices during normal business hours:
  Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room G-5
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218
  Metropolitan Place
99 Wyse Road, Suite 1410
Darmouth, Nova Scotia B3A 4S5
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Fax: (902) 426-2721
  405 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East
2nd Floor, Suite B2300
Montréal, Quebec H2L 4J5
Tel: (514) 283-6607 - TDD: 283-8316
Fax: (514) 283-3689
  55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Tel: (416) 952-9096
Fax: (416) 954-6343
  Kensington Building
275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Fax: (204) 983-6317
  Cornwall Professional Building
2125 - 11th Avenue
Room 103
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3X3
Tel: (306) 780-3422
Fax: (306) 780-3319
  Suite 520 - 10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
Fax: (780) 495-3214
  530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322
Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2003-06-13

Date modified: