ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter addressed to The Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications Services

This page has been archived on the Web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, 25 September 2015

File number: 8657-C12-201505505


To: The Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications Services

Subject: Review of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)

Dear Mr. Maker,

In Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-239 (the Notice), the Commission initiated a review of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).  On4 June 2015, pursuant to paragraph 17 of the Notice, the Commission issued requests for information to the CCTS and the CCTS filed its responses on 20 July 2015. 

After reviewing the record of this proceeding, Commission staff has determined that there is a need for further information.  Accordingly, staff requests that the CCTS respond to the attached requests for information. The CCTS is to file its responses with the Commission by 15 October 2015.

Procedural information 

This letter and all subsequent correspondence form part of a public record.  As set out in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, persons may designate certain information as confidential.  A person claiming confidentiality with respect to information submitted must provide an abridged version of the document involved, accompanied by a detailed rationale to explain why the disclosure of the information is not in the public interest.

All submissions are to be made in accordance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, SOR/2010-277.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Antica Corner at
819-997-1334 or by email at

Yours sincerely,

Mary-Louise Hayward for
Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy

c.c.:   Antica Corner, CRTC
All interveners in Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-239 of 25 September 2015


  1. Budget

Provide the CCTS’ annual operating budget for the past five years, broken down into broad categories of expenses, including but not limited to, promotion and public awareness.

  1. Remedies

According to section 12.1(c) of the CCTS’ Procedural Code, the CCTS may require a Participating Service Provider to
“pay the Customer monetary compensation in an amount not to exceed:

      1. in relation to any single complaint, or any two or more complaints consolidated pursuant to Section 6.15, five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate; or
      2. in relation to any two or more complaints consolidated pursuant to Section 6.16, five thousand dollars ($5,000) in respect of each such complaint so consolidated; or;
      3. In relation to any complaint filed on behalf of two or more Customers in respect of which the Commissioner has taken action pursuant to Section 6.18, five thousand dollars ($5,000) in the aggregate; or

any combination thereof.

Section 12.3 further clarifies that “For greater certainty, amounts that the Commissioner determines are to be refunded or credited as a result of billing errors shall not constitute monetary compensation within the meaning of Section 12.1(c)”

According to the annual reports for 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, less than 5% of compensation provided to consumers (that has been reported to the CCTS) has been between $1,000 and $4,000 and less than 0.05% has been over $5,000.

  1. Has the $5,000 cap on compensation (not including the amounts refunded or credited as a result of billing errors) been an issue or limiting factor in any of the complaints in which the CCTS has recommended or determined what compensation it deemed appropriate?
  2. For what percentage of cases resolved by the CCTS is the CCTS aware of the compensation, if any, that was provided to the customer?
  3. Has the CCTS considered requiring service providers to report on the compensation provided in order to provide a clearer report to all stakeholders on the compensation that the consumers have received as a result of the CCTS process?
  1. Consumer Credit Ratings
  1. When there are disputes regarding amounts owed by consumers and the consumer has chosen not to pay the disputed amount during the dispute, to the best of the CCTS’ knowledge, have the service providers ever considered the disputed amount to be in arrears for the duration of the dispute and reported these amounts to credit or collection agencies?
  2. If the above scenario occurs, does the CCTS consider any damage to the consumer’s credit rating resulting from the dispute when making a compensation recommendation or determination?  If so, what actions or recommendations does the CCTS take to address and remedy this issue?
  1. Complaints with aspects that are both in and out of the CCTS’ scope
  1. How does the CCTS handle complaints which have aspects that are both in and out of the scope of the CCTS?  For example: Consumer in areas where local phone service is not forborne may purchase bundles that include forborne services such as Internet service or mobile phone service and may have complaints related to the service bundle.
  2. The CCTS current mandate is restricted to disputes relating to forborne telecommunications services as noted in paragraph 3 of its Procedural Code, unless otherwise specified in a code of conduct.   The CCTS explicitly excludes disputes about payphones from its mandate.  Given that the provision of long distance service from payphones is subject to forbearance, explain how the CCTS handles complaints about long distance charges incurred when making a non-cash payphone call.  Would it be appropriate to modify the CCTS’ Procedural Code to clearly specify that the payphone related exclusion does not capture disputes relating to the provision of long distances services over payphones?


  1. Complaints related to Procedural Code Section 4.3

The section of the CCTS’ annual report dealing with Out of Mandate Issues provides the number of complaints related to Section 4.3 Service provider general operating practices and policies. 

  1. Can the CCTS elaborate further as to what constitutes a complaint failing within this section of the Procedural Code?

Specify the key issues that have been raised by consumers that fall within this section?  Have any of these issues been included in the CCTS’ trend reporting?

Date modified: