Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to David Wilkie (Tbaytel)
Ottawa, 13 February 2018
Mr. David Wilkie
1046 Lithium Drive
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6G3
Dear Mr. Wilkie:
RE: Revised Wireless Code implementation – Tbaytel’s Part 1 application for an extension of time File No. 8665-T8-201707259
This letter sets out the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s determinations on Tbaytel’s Part 1 application seeking an extension of time to implement certain requirements in Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-200 – Review of the Wireless Code (the revised Code policy).
In its application filed 16 August 2017, Tbaytel stated it is unable to comply with certain requirements of section E (Bill Management) of the revised Code by the 1 December 2017 deadline. For this reason, it requested an extension to 1 December 2018 to implement these rules. Tbaytel stated that it will implement all other requirements of the revised Code on time.
Specifically, Tbaytel requested an extension to implement the rules discussed in paragraphs 121 and 122 of the revised Code policy and reflected in the following sections of the revised Code:
- E.1 (i), which requires the service provider to notify the account holder and the device user when a device is roaming in another country.
- E.2 (i), which requires the service provider to suspend national and international data roaming charges once they reach $100 within a single monthly billing cycle, unless the account holder or authorized user expressly consents to pay additional charges, and (iii), which requires the service provider to, in all instances, apply this cap on a per-account basis, regardless of the number of devices associated with the account.
- E.3 (i), which requires the service provider to suspend data overage charges once they reach $50 within a single monthly billing cycle, unless the account holder or authorized user expressly consents to pay additional charges, and (iii) which requires the service provider to, in all instances, apply this cap on a per-account basis, regardless of the number of devices associated with the account.
The Commission considers that, due to the exceptional circumstance of its legacy billing system, Tbaytel has demonstrated that it is facing barriers that make it financially unreasonable as well as technically impossible to implement the requirements related to rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) of the revised Code relevant to multi-user plans by 1 December 2017. With respect to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s request that Tbaytel waive all data overage and data roaming charges prior to the account holder being notified, the Commission considers that this request goes above and beyond the requirements set out in the revised Code.
Therefore, the Commission approves Tbaytel’s request to extend its implementation deadline from 1 December 2017 to 1 December 2018 for only the rules outlined in sections E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) of the revised Code.
Until Tbaytel has fully implemented the revised Code for all customers, the Commission expects Tbaytel to credit or refund customers who complain to Tbaytel regarding the rules set out in E.1-3 of the revised Code and who are legitimately entitled to a credit or a refund. In particular, the Commission expects Tbaytel to credit or refund customers in any cases where Tbaytel bills them for data overage charges or data roaming charges in excess of the respective caps, without first obtaining the express consent of either the account holder or an authorized user accepting such additional charges.
The Commission reminds Tbaytel that:
- It remains obligated to meet all other requirements in the revised Code as of 1 December 2017. Until 1 December 2018, for rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) exclusively, Tbaytel remains obligated to meet the corresponding requirements as set out in the original Code.
- It remains obligated to submit its annual Wireless Code compliance reports. The first such report is due on 31 March 2018. The Commission will take its determinations in this decision into consideration when assessing Tbaytel’s overall compliance with implementing the revised Code. When assessing its 2018 compliance report, the Commission will assess Tbaytel’s compliance based on rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) of the original Code and all other requirements based on the revised Code.
- The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) is currently addressing complaints for rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) in a manner consistent with the revised Code for all customers, including Tbaytel’s. Therefore, despite the Commission’s approval of the extension, for complaints that the CCTS receives regarding these rules, it will continue to interpret and resolve matters in a manner consistent with the revised Code.
To ensure that Tbaytel’s customers are aware of the delays and can seek recourse where appropriate, the Commission directs Tbaytel to:
- Notify all its retail wireless customers of the expected delay in implementing the specific rules listed above. While it is at Tbaytel’s discretion to determine the manner in which it wishes to notify its customers, the notification must explain how customers may be affected by this delay and include a reminder to customers that should they have a complaint, they should first contact Tbaytel directly, and if they are not satisfied with how Tbaytel has addressed their complaint, that they have the right to escalate the complaint to the CCTS.
- File a report to the Commission on how it is meeting its customer notification requirements set out above. This will be due within 30 days of the date of this decision. As part of this submission, Tbaytel is to provide the Commission with a copy of the text sent to customers to notify them of the implementation delay and their right to escalate complaints to the CCTS.
Lastly, in order to monitor both Tbaytel’s progress towards the implementation of these sections of the revised Code and customer complaints, the Commission further directs Tbaytel to:
- File monthly reports updating the Commission on the status of its system upgrades required to meet the rules pursuant to the revised Code. These reports must address any complaints received about rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i and iii), and E.3 (i and iii) until the rules have been fully implemented and describe how Tbaytel resolved each complaint. Reports will be due each month, starting 30 days after the date of this decision. Once all aspects of the revised Code are implemented in full, Tbaytel must provide written confirmation of this in its final monthly report.
The Commission intends to monitor consumer complaints for any systemic issues arising from the delays in implementing the revised Code.
(Original signed by)
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