Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution list

Ottawa, 6 December 2019

Our reference 1011-NOC2016-0293

BY E-MAIL 

To: Distribution List

Dear Madam, Sir:

RE: Wireless Code – 2019 Compliance Reports – Request for further information – Round 2

On 27 February 2019, Commission staff sent a letter Footnote1 which set out specific questions for wireless service providers (WSPs) to answer in their annual compliance reports under the revised Wireless Code. Footnote2 Those reports were due on 31 March 2019.

On 21 August 2019, Commission staff issued a request for information Footnote3 (RFI), which set out follow-up questions for specific WSPs to answer, with responses due on 4 September 2019.

Commission staff reviewed the reports, attached documents and the responses to the 21 August 2019 RFIs and considers that certain elements require further clarification. Therefore, you are asked to file answers to the attached additional questions (see Appendix) by no later than 20 December 2019.

These materials may be incorporated into the record of a potential future proceeding evaluating WSP compliance with the revised Wireless Code and assessing whether remedial measures are appropriate in the circumstances.

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.

For further information on how to submit your response, see the CRTC’s web page Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account. If you have any questions, please contact Eng Kooi Lim, Senior Analyst, Social and Consumer Policy, at 819-664-3047 or EngKooi.Lim@crtc.gc.ca.

Yours sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
CRTC

Distribution List:

Bell Mobility, bell.regulatory@bell.ca
Freedom Mobile, Regulatory@sjrb.ca
Petro-Canada Mobility, scott_laird@ztarmobile.com
Rogers Communications, rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com
Québecor Média, dennis.beland@quebecor.com
TELUS Communications, regulatory.affairs@telus.com
TbayTel, stephen.scofich@tbaytel.com

Appendix: Request for further information

Questions for Bell Mobility

In response to your filing with respect to Q4 and Q5 of the 27 February 2019 letter,
Section G.4.iii (Trial Period) of the Wireless Code states that,

“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.

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.

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.”

Commission staff noted in your submissions, specifically in Section 35(b) of the service agreement, with respect to the return policy for postpaid and prepaid services, Footnote4 a provision which states that:

“You may return your device if the Device has not exceeded 30 minutes of voice usage or 50 MB of data usage.”

Usage limits for the trial period must correspond to at least half of the permitted monthly usage for each plan, instead of a fixed amount of usage across all plans. Accordingly, in light of this provision of your service agreement, Commission staff is of the view that your company may not be compliant with Section G.4.iii of the Wireless Code.

Comment on whether your company is compliant with this requirement and, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance. If not,explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

Question for Freedom Mobile

In response to your filing with respect to Q3 of the 27 February 2019 letter, which you submitted in confidence, and your 4 September 2019 response, also filed in confidence,

Provide a status update on the subject matter in question and address this matter as it relates to ongoing compliance with the revised Wireless Code.

Question for Petro Canada Mobility

In response to your filing with regards to Q5 (pre-paid services) of the 27 February letter,
Section B.2.ii(c) of the Wireless Code states that,

“A service provider must explain to the customer how they can (c) complain about the service, including how to contact the CCTS.” Footnote5

Commission staff reviewed Petro Canada’s submission on pre-paid services, and could not find references to the CCTS.

Confirm whether your company is compliant with Section B.2.ii(c) of the Wireless Codeand, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance; if not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

Question for Rogers Communications

In response to your filing with respect to Q7(2) of the 27 February 2019 letter, and your 4 September 2019 response,
At paragraph 383 of Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2013-271, the Commission indicated that,

“consumers must be able to easily find information about the Code on the WSPs’ websites. This would require that WSPs provide prominent links to the consumer checklist on their websites. Prominent means that customers must be able to access the consumer checklist within one click of the WSPs’ home page and within one “click” of all pages describing their wireless service offerings.”

At paragraphs 422 – 426 of Telecom Regulatory Policy CRT 2017-200, the Commission found it appropriate to maintain its requirements on how WSPs must promote the Code, including the above-noted requirement.

Based on your submission, Commission staff noted a footer link labelled “Privacy & CRTC” on each page of the website including the homepage. However, Commission staff is of view that the placement of the “consumer checklist” may not be compliant with the Commission’s directions, as Commission staff had to scroll down towards the end of the linked page to find it, where it shows up under the CCTS heading. 

Commission staff further considers that the label “Privacy & CRTC” in itself may not be sufficiently prominent to prompt consumers looking for the “consumer checklist” or for information about the Wireless Code on Rogers’ website.

Comment on whether your company is compliant with this requirement and, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance; if not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

Question for Québecor Média

In response to your filing with respect to Q6(4) of the 27 February 2019 letter and your 4 September 2019 response,

Provide a status update for your brand Fizz regarding compliance with section E.1 of the revised Wireless Code.

Question for TELUS Communications

In response to your filing with respect to Q4 and Q5 of the 27 February 2019 letter,
Section G.4.iii (Trial Period) of the Wireless Code states that, “

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.

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.

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.”

Commission staff noted that the submitted example of a Critical Information Summary with regards to Trial Period states that,

“During that time, the customer can return the device for a full refund or cancel service with no cancellation fees. TELUS will not charge for the service unless the customer has used more than 30 voice minutes, 50 messages or 50 MB of data.”

Usage limits must correspond to at least half of the permitted monthly usage for each plan, instead of a fixed amount of usage across all plans. Accordingly, in light of this provision of your Critical Information Summary, Commission staff is of the view that your company may not be compliant with Section G.4.iii of the Wireless Code.

Comment on whether your company is compliant with this requirement and, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance. If not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

Questions for Tbaytel

In response to your filing with regards to Q3 of the 27 February 2019 letter, and your 4 September 2019 response,
Section E.3.iv of the Code states that

“For a customer with a flex plan, the customer begins incurring overage fees after the first tier of data is exceeded, and the service provider must suspend data service when they reach an additional $50 in overage fees, unless the account holder or authorized user expressly consents to additional charges.”

Confirm whether your company is compliant with this requirement to suspend data service for customers when they reach an additional $50 in overage fees and, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance; if not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

Commission staff further noted your submission that “Tbaytel is currently exploring a variable capping model which will allow a customer to modify the $50 and $100 data overage caps” and “this functionality is expected to launch in Q2 of 2020.”

Provide a status update. In the event that this model has already launched, confirm whether your company is compliant with the provisions of the revised Wireless Code regarding the application of data caps to flex plans and, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance; if not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.


Commission staff further noted in your submissions with regards to Q5 (prepaid services) of the 27 February 2019 letter,
Section B.2. ii(c) of the Wireless Code states that,

“A service provider must explain to the customer how they can (c) complain about the service, including how to contact the CCTS.”

Commission staff reviewed TBaytel’s submissions on pre-paid services, and could not find references to the CCTS.

Confirm whether your company is compliant with Section B.2.ii(c) of the Wireless Codeand, if so, explain how it has achieved this compliance; if not, explain how you will come into compliance forthwith.

 

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