Television Service Provider Code
In March 2016, the CRTC expanded the CCTS’ mandate to include administering a third code of conduct, the Television Service Provider Code (TVSP Code), and addressing complaints related to the provision of subscription TV services provided by TV service providers (TVSPs). Effective September 1, 2017, the CCTS accepts complaints relating to subscription TV services provided by cable, Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and national satellite direct-to-home (DTH) TV service providers.
The TVSP Code imposes various obligations on TVSPs, including:
- providing customers with written agreement and related documents in plain language
- ensuring that prices, additional charges and the duration of promotional offers set out in the written agreement are clear
- providing customers with a timeframe and information on any potential charges regarding service calls for installations and repairs
- giving 30 days’ notice to consumers in the event of a change in price of channels, bundles of channels or rental equipment
- offering Canadians with disabilities a 30-day trial period
All major TV service providers and smaller service providers affiliated with them are required to adhere to the TVSP Code. The CRTC anticipates that this will result in 95% of Canadians who subscribe to a TV service provider benefitting from the Code. The Code does not apply to small business TV customers.
The CCTS is unable to accept complaints about the content of programs. There are several industry codes governing content.
As the CCTS has done for the Wireless Code and the Deposit and Disconnection Code, the CCTS will publish and periodically update an Annotated Guide to the Television Service Provider Code, which will be a section-by-section discussion of the CCTS’ approach to interpreting and applying the provisions based on its experience with the complaints it investigates.