Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Stephen Schmidt (TELUS)
Ottawa, 13 February 2018
Vice-President - Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Floor 8, 215 Slater St.
Dear Mr. Schmidt:
RE: Revised Wireless Code implementation – Telus’ Part 1 application for an extension of time File No. 8665-T66-201710708
This letter sets out the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s determinations on Telus’ 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).
In its application filed 16 November 2017, Telus stated it would be technically impossible 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 31 March 2018 to implement these rules. Telus stated that all other requirements of the revised Code would be implemented on time.
The Commission considers that, due to the technical complexities associated with operationalizing the required changes to Telus’ systems, Telus has demonstrated that it is facing barriers that make it financially unreasonable as well as technically impossible to implement the specific requirements related to bill management reflected in sections E.1 (i), E.2 (iii and iv), E.3 (iii, iv and v) and E.4 of the revised Code by the required deadline. Extending the deadline to comply with these rules will provide Telus with sufficient time to make the necessary changes and upgrades.
Therefore, the Commission approves Telus’ request to extend its implementation of the revised Code from 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018 for the following rules:
- E.1 (i), E.2 (iii), E.3 (iii-iv) and E.4 of the revised Code for accounts with multi-user plans only; and
- E.2 (iv) and E.3 (v) of the revised Code for all accounts.
Until Telus has fully implemented the revised Code for all customers, the Commission expects Telus to credit or refund customers who complain to Telus regarding the rules set out in E.1-4 of the revised Code and who are legitimately entitled to a credit or a refund. In particular, the Commission expects Telus to credit or refund customers in any cases where Telus 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 Telus that:
- It remains obligated to meet all other requirements in the revised Code as of 1 December 2017. Until 31 March 2018, for rules E.1 (i), E.2 (iii and iv), E.3 (iii, iv and v) and E.4 exclusively, Telus 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 Telus’ overall compliance with implementing the revised Code. When assessing its 2018 compliance report, the Commission will assess Telus’ compliance based on rules E.1 (i), E.2 (i), E.3 (i) and E.4 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.1-4 in a manner consistent with the revised Code for all customers, including those of Telus. 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 Telus’ customers are aware of the delays and can seek recourse where appropriate, the Commission directs Telus to:
- Notify all its retail wireless customers, in the next billing cycle that starts within 30 days after the publication of this decision, of the specific delays to sections E.1-4 of the revised Code through a prominent notice both on its website and in customers’ monthly wireless service bills.
The notice must explain how customers may be affected by the delay, highlight the existing tools that customers can use to manage their usage, and include a reminder to customers that should they have a complaint, they should first contact Telus directly, and if they are not satisfied with how Telus has addressed their complaint, that they have the right to escalate the complaint to the CCTS.
- Notify all new wireless customers of the delay in implementing sections E.1-4 of the revised Code at the time of signing the contract, and explain how the customer may be affected by the delay, highlight the existing tools that customers can use to manage their usage, and include a reminder to customers of their right to escalate a complaint about these issues to the CCTS.
- 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 these rules until the rules have been fully implemented and describe how Telus resolved each complaint. Reports will be due each month, starting 30 days after the date of this decision. The first of these reports must include a copy of the text Telus is using to notify its customers of the implementation delay and of their right to escalate complaints to the CCTS. Once all aspects of the revised Code are implemented in full, Telus must provide written confirmation of this in its final monthly report or in its compliance report, due 31 March 2018.
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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