When service providers join the CCTS, they are required to implement certain specific measures in order to remain in good standing with the CCTS.
The CCTS monitors and audits service providers for compliance with these four components:
Telling their customers about the CCTS
All service providers have a responsibility to make their customers aware of the CCTS’ impartial and free complaint resolution service in the following ways:
- Have a dedicated web page that explains their complaint process, which describes the option for customers to take their complaints to the CCTS. This page must be easy to find; no more than 2 clicks away from the home page.
- If the provider’s website has a search function, a search using any of these keywords will return a link to the dedicated complaints page: “complaint, dispute, CCTS, CRTC, commission, ombudsman”.
- At least four times a year, customer bills must include a notice about the CCTS. Prepaid mobile customers (and any other customers that don’t receive a monthly bill) must have this message brought to their attention in an alternate way, for example, via text messaging.
- The service provider’s customer service staff must tell customers contacting them with a complaint about the right to complain to the CCTS, if the complaint remains unresolved after the second level of escalating their issue. (A level of escalation would be a customer asking to speak or being transferred to a team leader, supervisor or manager, for example.)
- Phone companies that publish white page directories must include a notice about the CCTS.
Following the rules for investigating complaints
All service providers are bound by the CCTS Procedural Code, which means they are expected to cooperate with the CCTS when costumers file complaints. The full requirements are set out in the CCTS Procedural Code. In summary, they include:
- Providing information or documentation as requested
- Responding to the CCTS within defined time lines
- Cooperating in good faith throughout the investigation process
- Carrying out resolutions to which they agreed and any binding remedies imposed by the CCTS
Paying their fees
The operations of the CCTS are funded entirely by Participating Service Providers based on a complex formula. To implement this formula, the CCTS requires the service providers to declare their Canadian telecommunications and television revenues.
Service providers are also required to pay the amounts billed by the CCTS within a specified timeline.
Dealing with non-compliance
If the CCTS determines that a Participating Service Provider is not fully compliant, we will work with it to achieve compliance. However, it is the responsibility of the service provider to ensure its compliance. If the non-compliance is not corrected swiftly, we will take remedial steps, such as:
- The CCTS will identify publicly all non-compliant service providers through its website and other public channels such as social media platforms.
- The CCTS will cease the sharing of important complaint data and industry comparison statistics with the non-compliant service provider, and requests for information will not be granted.
- Unpaid CCTS invoices may go to a collections and credit reporting agency.
- Failure to remedy aspects of non-compliance may ultimately result in the CCTS revoking the service provider’s participation. If this happens, the CCTS must inform the CRTC, that the service provider is now non-compliant with the CRTC’s requirement that it participate in the CCTS. The CRTC may choose to take enforcement action, which may include fining the service provider or cutting off wholesale telecom services to the service provider.