Telecom-television ombudsman takes formal steps against non-compliant service provider for
repeatedly failing to pay CCTS fees
Ottawa (April 8, 2022) – The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (“CCTS”) announces the termination of the participation of service provider Maple Call Inc. (“Maple Call”) for its ongoing failure to meet its significant payment obligations to the CCTS.
As a condition of participating in the CCTS, all participating service providers (“PSPs”) agree to adhere to all CCTS participation requirements. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has stated that it expects PSPs to comply with the obligations set out by the CCTS. This includes paying CCTS fees within a specified time. This is necessary to enable the CCTS to continue providing its services free of charge to consumers, as CCTS’ fees recover its costs for providing complaint-handling services.
Maple Call is an Ontario-based service provider that provides home phone services and long-distance calling cards. Maple Call joined the CCTS in March 2019. Many customers of three other providers that went out of business found themselves receiving service from Maple Call, apparently without being informed or consenting to Maple Call becoming their provider, which led to hundreds of consumers filing complaints with the CCTS. This unique situation led to Maple Call owing over $40,000 in CCTS fees after its first few months of participation.
At the outset, CCTS engaged with Maple Call to ensure that it understood the complaint handling process and its fee structure for complaints. The CCTS tried to work with Maple Call for over two years to bring the service provider into compliance. The CCTS was unable to reach agreement with Maple Call on a reasonable payment plan. Despite several engagement efforts, Maple Call has not made adequate progress in paying its long-standing and significant balance.
“Maple Call’s lengthy failure to pay CCTS fees that resulted from a large number of customer complaints is a violation of the service provider’s obligations for participating in the CCTS,” said Janet Lo, Assistant Commissioner of Legal, Regulatory & Stakeholder Affairs. “The CCTS made several attempts to work with Maple Call to bring it into compliance, which unfortunately have been unsuccessful. Maple Call’s termination ultimately impacts its customers, who now do not have a right to recourse to the CCTS for disputes with their service provider.”
The termination of Maple Call’s participation in the CCTS puts it in violation of the CRTC’s mandatory participation requirement. As required, the CCTS has referred this matter to the CRTC for further action.