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Ottawa, 1 March 2010
Our Reference: 8622-B60-201000471
RE: Part VII Application requesting the Commission to amend certain wording within the Order or provide written clarification
Dear Madams and Sirs:
On 15 January 2010, the Commission received an application by Bragg Communications Inc. (“EastLink”), Cogeco Cable Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of its affiliate Videotron Ltd. (collectively, the Cable Carriers), in which they requested that the Commission amend or provide written clarification of the wording in paragraph 16 of Telecom Order 2009-799, dated 22 December 2009 (the Order).
In the application, the Cable Carriers submitted that the wording in paragraph 16 of the Order implies that Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies) are free to provide winback offers to customers at any time between notification of cancellation and successful transfer of services to a new telecommunications service provider (TSP) – even if the 30 day notification was provided on behalf of the customer by way of a local service request (LSR) from the TSP.
The Cable Carriers submitted that the wording appeared to be at odds with the confidentiality provisions as set out in the Master Agreement for Local Interconnection (MALI) signed between companies, which require that all information contained in LSRs be maintained in confidence by a company’s Carrier Service Group (CSG) and not released to its sales and market departments for an attempt at customer retention prior to the completion of the port. The Cable Carriers submitted that the confidentiality provisions imply that when an LSR is used for notification of cancellation on a customer’s behalf, the old service provider should only be capable of providing winback offers to the customer after the successful transfer of service to the new service provider.
The Cable Carriers suggested that paragraph 16 should be modified to indicate that the Bell companies are able to make winback offers at any time prior to the transfer if the cancellation notification was received from the customer but not if the cancellation was received via an LSR.
By letters, dated 21 January 2010 and 28 January 2010, the Bell companies stated that they had no objections to the Cable Carriers suggestion that they not attempt customer winbacks based on notifications of service cancellations provided by other service providers on behalf of an end-customer, but that they objected to the broader ban suggested by the Cable Carriers since a customer may call the Bell companies or they may contact the customer for reasons unrelated to the advance notification of disconnection.
Commission staff notes that the Order addressed the issues related to the Bell companies’ applications regarding minimum advance notice of disconnection and has no bearing on, and does not affect the confidentiality provisions contained in executed MALIs. These confidentiality provisions are to ensure, among other things, that a carrier’s CSG does not disclose or otherwise allow access to confidential information for competitive purposes to any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or third parties except those who have a need to know such confidential information in order to provide services. Therefore, carriers remain under an obligation not to use information obtained from LSRs to make winback offers to disconnecting customers.
However, the confidentiality provisions do not affect information provided by the customer or that is available in the public domain. Therefore, if a Bell company is made aware that a customer intends to disconnect its service, other than through information obtained by their CSG, pursuant to the Governor in Council's Order varying Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15, P.C. 2007-532, 4 April 2007, it can still make a winback offer prior to the customer’s transfer even if a notice of disconnection is received via an LSR.
Commission staff reiterates that Telecom Order 2009-799 makes no change to existing agreements regarding customer transfers. As such, all carriers, including the Bell companies, remain bound by the confidentiality provisions contained in their existing agreements. Accordingly, this file is closed.
Original signed by
Competition, Costing & Tariffs
cc: Joseph Cabrera, CRTC (819) 934-6352, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cogeco Cable Inc.
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc.
Senior Vice President
Rogers Communications Inc.
Senior Vice President
Shaw Communications Inc.
Mr. Denis E. Henry
Regulatory and Government Affairs and Chief of Privacy
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, LP
Mr. David Palmer
Director, Regulatory Matters
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