Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Distribution List

Ottawa, 15 February 2018

BY E-MAIL 

To: Distribution List

RE: Revised Wireless Code Implementation – Compliance Reports
File No. 1011-NOC2016-0293

Sir, Madame,

This letter sets out the specific questions you are to answer in your compliance reports for the revised Wireless Code. Your report is due by 31 March 2018.

Context

In Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-200 (TRP 2017-200), Review of the Wireless Code, the Commission made targeted changes to and clarified existing rules of the Wireless Code (the Code), a mandatory code of conduct for providers of retail mobile wireless voice and data services. These changes and clarifications were made to ensure the Code’s ongoing effectiveness. The revised Wireless Code was set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200.

The revised Wireless Code took effect on 1 December 2017 and applies to all new, amended, or extended contracts from that day forward. Certain changes also applied to existing contracts.

As set out in paragraphs 451-453 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission:

“directs Canadian carriers that offer and provide retail mobile wireless voice and data services to individuals or small business customers to adhere to the rules set out in the attached Wireless Code, and according to the implementation schedule set out above, as a condition of offering and providing these services pursuant to section 24 of the [Telecommunications Act (the Act)] no later than 1 December 2017.

The Commission directs persons other than Canadian carriers that offer and provide retail mobile wireless voice and data services to individuals or small business customers (WSP resellers) to adhere to the rules set out in the attached Wireless Code, and according to the implementation schedule set out above, as a condition of providing these services pursuant to section 24.1 of the Act no later than 1 December 2017.

The Commission also directs Canadian carriers, as a condition of providing telecommunications services that WSP resellers use to provide retail mobile wireless services, no later than 1 December 2017, to (i) include in their tariffs, and in service contracts or other arrangements with these WSP resellers, the requirement that the purchaser of the service, and any or all of their wholesale customers and subordinate wholesale customers, abide by the rules set out in the attached Wireless Code according to the implementation schedule set out above; and (ii) report, in a timely manner, non-compliance by WSP resellers with this obligation, whether actual or suspected, by letter addressed to the Secretary General, including the name and contact information of the WSP reseller, as well as any details regarding the alleged non-compliant behaviour, and to implement any remedial directions from the Commission.”

Questions directed at all Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) to answer in compliance reports due 31 March 2018

As set out in paragraph 467 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed WSPs “to submit compliance reports on an annual basis, by 31 March of each year, to support the Commission’s role in monitoring WSPs for systemic non-compliance and enforcing the Code” (the Wireless Code Compliance Reports).

This letter sets out questions that all WSPs must answer when submitting their Wireless Code Compliance Reports. Companies that operate flanker brandsFootnote1 must file responses on behalf of these brands in addition to their primary brandsFootnote2

Additional questions specific to certain WSPs

Additional questions in Appendix 1-3 are specific to Rogers, Tbaytel, and Telus. As set out in the Secretary General Letters dated 13 February 2018 to Rogers, Tbaytel, and Telus, the Commission approved extension requests relating to specific provisions of section E. of the revised Wireless Code for these WSPs only.

Additional questions in Appendix 4 are specific to Bell Canada, Eastlink, Freedom Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Tbaytel, and Videotron. These questions relate to the creation of sign-language videos promoting awareness of the revised Wireless Code.  

Procedures for filing

As set out in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, WSPs may designate certain information as confidential.

WSPs 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.

Yours sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
CRTC

Distribution List:

Bell, bell.regulatory@bell.ca;
Brooke Telecom, jim@brooketel.ca;
Bruce Telecom, faye.hughes@brucetelecom.com;
Eastlink, Regulatory.Matters@corp.eastlink.ca;
Execulink, martha.facey@execulink.com;
Freedom Mobile, Regulatory@sjrb.ca;
Hay Communications, a.lawrence@hay.net;
Huron Telecommunications, grubb@hurontel.on.ca;
Ice Wireless, regulatory@icewireless.com;
Mornington Communications, lhallahan@mornington.ca;
NorthernTel, reglementa@telebec.com;
On Star, Jose.UrestiJr@ONSTAR.com; nnavabi@osler.com;
Petro-Canada Mobility, rjackson@petro-canada.ca; kostin@petro-canada.ca; gfscott@petro-canada.ca;
Quadro, barry.stone@quadro.net;
Rogers, rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com;
SaskTel. document.control@sasktel.com;
Sogetel, richard.biron@sogetel.com;
TbayTel, stephen.scofich@tbaytel.com;
Telus, regulatory.affairs@telus.com;
Tuckersmith Communications, regulatory@tccmail.ca;
Télébec, reglementa@telebec.com;
Videotron, dennis.beland@quebecor.com;
Wightman, kgugan@wightman.ca;
Zoomer Wireless, mlewis@lbhmedialaw.com; harleen.sawhney@zoomermedia.ca;


Questions for all WSPs

Q1. Confirm your compliance with the revised Wireless Code

Fill out the following chart in full to confirm your compliance with each requirement set out in the revised Wireless Code.

1. Preamble
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
(i) Interpretation a.    
b.    
c.    
A. Clarity
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Plain language (i)    
(ii)    
2. Prices (i)    
3. Unlimited services (i)    
(ii)    
B. Contracts and related documents
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Postpaid contracts (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
2. Prepaid service contracts (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
(v)    
C. Critical Information Summary
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. General (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
(v)    
D. Changes to contracts and related documents
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Changes to key contract terms and conditions (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
2. Changes to other contract terms and conditions or related documents (i)    
(ii)    
E. Bill management (Note to Rogers, Tbaytel, and Telus: provide an update on the status of each provision in this section for which you received an extension.)
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. International roaming notification (i)    
(ii)    
2. Cap on data roaming charges (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
3. Cap on data overage charges (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
(v)    
4. Unsolicited wireless services (i)    
5. Mobile premium services (i)    
F. Mobile device issues
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Unlocking (i)    
(ii)    
2. Warranties (i)    
3. Lost or stolen devices (i)    
(ii)    
4. Repairs (i)    
G. Contract cancellation and extension
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Early cancellation fees – General (i)    
(ii)    
2. Early cancellation fees – Subsidized device (i)    
(ii)    
3. Early cancellation fees – No subsidized device (i)    
4. Trial period (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
(v)    
5. Cancellation date (i)    
(ii)    
6. Contract extension (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
H. Security deposits
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. Requesting, reviewing, and returning a security deposit (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
I. Disconnection
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. When disconnection may occur (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
2. Notice before disconnection (i)    
(ii)    
(iii)    
(iv)    
(v)    
3. Disputing disconnection charges (i)    
J. Expiration of prepaid balances
Requirement
(Refer to each relevant section of the Wireless Code, set out in Appendix 1 of TRP 2017-200)
Have you complied with this requirement as of December 1, 2017?
(Answer Yes or No)
Briefly explain how you meet the requirement. If you have not met the requirement, explain why.
1. General (i)    
(ii)    

Q2. Contracts with resellers

Do you provide telecommunications services that WSP resellers use to provide retail mobile wireless services? If so, fill out the following chart to confirm that you have amended your contracts with resellers to ensure they comply with the revised Wireless Code.

Name of reseller Provide the date that you amended your tariffs, service contracts (or other arrangements) with this reseller to require that the purchaser of the service and their wholesale customers and subordinate wholesale customers adhere to the rules set out in the revised Wireless Code.
   

Q3. Contracts and related documents for postpaid services

If you provide postpaid wireless services, provide a copy of the documents you provide to customers entering into new postpaid contracts. This should include the following:

If the contracts, CIS, and other related documents you provide differ depending on whether the customer has selected a multi-user planFootnote3 or an individual plan, please provide copies of all the above documents for both. 

Q4. Contracts and related documents for prepaid services

If you provide prepaid wireless services, provide a copy of the documents you provide to customers entering into new prepaid contracts. This should include the following:

If you offer prepaid cards, please provide a copy of the information or terms of service provided to the customer in association with that prepaid card. 

Q5. Notifications and seeking consent

  1. Section D.1 (i)-(ii) of the revised Wireless Code requires that:
    1. A service provider must not change the key contract terms and conditions of a postpaid wireless contract during the commitment period without the account holder or authorized user informed and express consent.
    2. When a service provider notifies a customer that it intends to change a key contract term or condition during the commitment period, the account holder or authorized user may refuse the change.”

    Provide an example of the text used and describe the delivery method(s) you employ when seeking consent to change a key term or condition of a customer’s postpaid contract.

  2. Section E.1 (i) of the revised Wireless Code requires that:
    1. When a device is roaming in another country, a service provider must notify the account holder, and the device user, at no charge. The notification must clearly explain the associated rates for voice, text messaging, and data services.”

    Provide an example of the text used and describe the delivery method(s) you employ when notifying the account holder and the device user when a device is roaming in another country.

  3. Section E.2 (i) of the revised Wireless Code requires that:
    1. A service provider must 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.”

    Provide an example of the text used and describe the delivery method(s) you employ when seeking consent from the account holder or an authorized user to pay additional charges beyond the $100 of national and international data roaming charges within a single billing cycle.

  4. Section E.3 (i) of the revised Wireless Code requires that:
    1. A service provider must 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.”

    Provide an example of the text used and describe the delivery method(s) you employ when seeking consent from an account holder or an authorized user to pay additional charges beyond the $50 in data overage charges within a single billing cycle.

  5. Section G.6 (ii) of the revised Wireless Code requires that:
    1. A service provider must notify a customer on a fixed-term contract at least 90 calendar days before the end of their initial commitment period whether or not the contract will be automatically extended. This notification must include
      1. the date on which the contract is set to expire;
      2. a statement informing the customer that as of that date, they can switch plans, change services providers, or cancel their service without penalty; and
      3. information explaining
        1. whether the contract will be automatically extended with the same rates, terms, and conditions, on a month-to-month basis; and
        2. if the contract is not being automatically extended, the proposed new minimum monthly charge for service going forward.”

Provide an example of the text used and describe the delivery method(s) you employ when notifying a customer on a fixed-term contract at least 90 calendar days before the end of their initial commitment period whether or not the contract will be automatically extended.

Q6. Promotion of the revised Wireless Code

  1. In paragraph 426 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed all WSPs to “ensure that their customer service representatives are (i) knowledgeable of the Code; (ii) able to effectively describe the Code’s provisions; and (iii) able to explain recourse options for customers”.

    Provide a description of the training you provide to customer service representatives to ensure they are knowledgeable about the revised Wireless Code, able to effectively describe its provisions, and able to explain recourse options for customers.

  2. In paragraph 426 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed all WSPs to “provide prominent links to the consumer checklist on their websites, on their home page, and on all pages on which their wireless service plans and offerings are described”.

    Provide the links to the consumer checklist on your websites.

  3. In paragraph 426 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed all WSPs to “visually display information from the consumer checklist in their stores and kiosks”.

    Provide an example of the information you visually display from the consumer checklist in your stores and kiosks.

  4. In paragraph 426 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed all WSPs to “add a notification regarding the consumer checklist to their billing statements on two separate occasions: one notification in the month that the revised Code takes effect, and one notification three months later, and semi-annually thereafter”

    Provide the notification you include in customers’ billing statements regarding the consumer checklist.

  5. In paragraph 426 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed all WSPs to “inform customers of their right of recourse to the CCTS immediately upon a failure to resolve a complaint at the second level of escalation, and again at subsequent levels of escalation within the WSP’s internal process and retain statistics on an ongoing basis on how many customers, out of the total number of customers who make a formal complaint, they informed about the CCTS, and provide these statistics to the Commission as part of the compliance reporting process on an annual basis. Reports are to be submitted by 31 March of each year.”

    For the period of 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018, provide the number of customers, out of the total number of customers who made a formal complaint, you informed about the CCTS.

  6. In paragraph 327 of TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed WSPs to “promote the availability of the extended trial period in the accessibility portion of their websites by 1 December 2017”.

    Provide the link to your website promoting the extended trial period.

Q7. Trial periods

Section G.4 of the revised Wireless Code sets out the rules related to trial periods:

“(i) When a customer agrees to a contract through which they are subject to an early cancellation fee, a service provider must offer the customer a trial period lasting a minimum of 15 calendar days to enable the customer to determine whether the service meets their needs.
(ii) The trial period must start on the date on which service begins.
(iii) A service provider may establish limits on the use of voice, text, and data services for the trial period for all services that are not purchased on an unlimited basis.

  1. For single-user plans, the standard trial period usage limits must correspond to at least half of the permitted monthly usage specified in the customer’s contract.
  2. For multi-user plans, the trial period usage limits must correspond to at least half of the permitted monthly usage for the entire account, as specified in the contract. 

(iv) If a customer self-identifies as a person with a disability, the service provider must offer an extended trial period lasting a minimum of 30 calendar days, and the permitted usage amounts must be at least double the service provider’s general usage amounts for the standard trial period.
(v) During the trial period, customers may cancel their contract without penalty or early cancellation fee if they have

  1. used less than the permitted usage; and
  2. returned any device provided by the service provider, in near-new condition, including original packaging.”

Explain how your trial period policies conform to the rules set out above.

Appendix 1 – Additional question for Rogers only

Q1. As stated in the Secretary General letter addressed to Rogers, dated 13 February 2018, until 31 May 2018, for the rules set out in Sections E.1 (i), E.2. (iii and iv), E.3. (iii and v) exclusively, Rogers remains obligated to meet the corresponding requirements as set out in the original Code.

For the period of 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018, confirm and explain how you are in compliance with the following sections of the original Wireless Code (see Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-271):

Appendix 2 – Additional question for Tbaytel only

Q1. As stated in the Secretary General letter addressed to Tbaytel, dated 13 February 2018, until 1 December 2018, for the rules set out in Sections 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.

For the period of 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018, confirm and explain how you are in compliance with the following sections of the original Wireless Code (see Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271):

Appendix 3 – Additional question for Telus only

Q.1 As stated in the Secretary General letter addressed to Telus, dated 13 February 2018, until 31 March 2018, for the rules set out in Sections 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.

For the period of 1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018, confirm and explain how you are in compliance with the following sections of the original Wireless Code (see Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271):

Appendix 4 – Additional Questions for Bell Canada, Eastlink, Freedom Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Tbaytel, and Videotron

Q1. In TRP 2017-200, the Commission directed “Bell Canada, Eastlink, Freedom Mobile, RCCI, SaskTel, TCC, and Videotron to work in collaboration to create and promote sign-language videos (in ASL and LSQ) that will be included in awareness campaigns for the Code. These videos are to be created in the interest of all Canadians and must not be an advertising vehicle for any particular service provider. The videos must be developed in consultation with the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Consultations with the deaf and hard of hearing community must begin no later than four months from the date of this decision. The videos are also to be created with closed captioning. Bell Canada, Eastlink, Freedom Mobile, RCCI, SaskTel, TCC, and Videotron are to support this initiative with the resources necessary to allow for the meaningful and active participation of the Deaf and hard of hearing community” (Emphasis added, paragraph 382).

As directed, Bell Canada, Eastlink, Freedom Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, and Videotron participated in the creation of ASL and LSQ videos, along with flanker brands BellMTS, Fido, Koodo, PC Mobile, Public Mobile, and Virgin Mobile. Tbaytel also participated.

While the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association posted versions of these videos that credit all the WSPs that contributed to the videos, each WSP also posted individually branded videos on their websites.

Please explain how the posting of individually branded videos, rather than the videos that are branded for the consortium of WSPs who contributed to the videos, is consistent with the TRP 2017-200. Specifically, explain how the videos are not an advertising vehicle for any particular service provider, as indicated above. Primary brands must respond on behalf of their flanker brands.   

Q2. Provide viewing data for both the ASL and LSQ videos posted on your website(s) promoting awareness of the revised Wireless Code.

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