CRTC Confirms CCTS Interpretation of Wireless Code

Ottawa, August 17, 2015 — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released a decision supporting Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services’ interpretation of the disconnection provisions of the Wireless Code.

The Wireless Code requires service providers to give two separate notices to customers, each containing prescribed information, before service can be disconnected for non-payment. But many wireless service providers “suspend” service before disconnecting it. CCTS interprets the Code to require that notices be given to customers prior to any “suspension” or “disconnection” of service, and it has found providers in violation on numerous occasions.

“When a customer’s wireless service is cut off by the service provider, it matters little to the customer whether the provider calls it a ‘suspension’ or a ‘disconnection’”, said CCTS Commissioner and CEO Howard Maker. “Our interpretation reflects the intent of the Wireless Code – that customers should not lose their service without proper advance notice. We are pleased that the Commission has seen fit to support our interpretation.”

In February 2015, Rogers filed an application disputing this interpretation and asking the CRTC to clarify that the notice requirement does not apply to “suspensions”, an application that was supported by many Canadian wireless providers. In Telecom Decision CRTC 2015-376, the CRTC has ruled that the disconnection rules apply to suspensions of service that are part of the process possibly leading to a disconnection for non-payment. The CRTC clarified that the notice requirements “…apply in all instances before a disconnection, and in the first instance of a suspension in a disconnection cycle.”

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About the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) Since July 2007, CCTS has provided consumers with an independent and impartial mechanism for the resolution of complaints about deregulated local and long distance telephone services, as well as wireless service and internet access. This includes billing errors, compliance with contract terms and commitments, service delivery, credit management and collections issues. Visit our website at www.ccts-cprst.ca. To schedule an interview with the Commissioner, or for more information, please contact: Paul Carlucci – Communications Officer Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) Email: paul.carlucci@ccts-cprst.ca Toll free: 1-855-512-9783 Twitter: @ccts_cprst Facebook: Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services

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