CRTC Finds Former Wireless Services Provider in Violation of Telecom Act for Failing to Participate in the CCTS

Ottawa (29 January 2024) The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) acknowledges the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision that found Optitel Mobile Inc.(Optitel) in violation of the Telecommunications Act (Telecom Act) for its failure to join the CCTS following a consumer complaint about its services in March 2022.

The CRTC found that Optitel violated the Telecom Act for failing to become a participant in the CCTS from May 2022 to its dissolution in July 2022. The CRTC also found Robert Trudeau, the company’s director, personally liable for the company’s violation. The CRTC noted that it could take this into consideration in the future if Robert Trudeau becomes a director of a different telecom service provider and if that service provider is found in contravention of the Telecom Act. The CRTC decision confirmed that the wireless service provider Optitel has been dissolved and is no longer providing services within the scope of the CCTS as of July 2022, thus bringing the former service provider into compliance was no longer an option or objective.

Background: In March 2022, the CCTS received an in-scope customer complaint about Optitel. The CCTS informed the provider about its regulatory obligation to join the CCTS as the designated ombudsman for handing telecom and TV complaints in Canada. The CCTS made repeated attempts to sign up the service provider without success. In September 2022, the CCTS referred the matter to the CRTC for further action and the CRTC held a public proceeding.

CCTS Participation Requirement: Participating in the CCTS is a regulatory requirement imposed on service providers by the CRTC as the industry regulator. This requirement exists so that the customers of service providers have recourse to an independent complaint-handling mechanism in the event of a dispute with their provider. When a service provider is not already a participant of the CCTS, there are two circumstances which trigger the regulatory requirement to sign up: when a telecom customer complains; or when licensed TV service providers and their affiliates are mandated to do so by the CRTC.

About the CCTS

The CCTS is Canada’s national and independent organization dedicated to resolving customer complaints about telecommunications and television services, fairly and free of charge. Telecommunication and television service providers that offer services within the mandate of the CCTS must participate. The CCTS has industry-wide participation, with over 440 service provider participants.

The CCTS has handled over 175,000 complaints – most resolved within 30 days. Remarkably, 9 out of 10 customers find a satisfactory resolution through our service.

Customers are encouraged to reach out to us for help if they are unable to resolve a dispute with their service provider. Let’s talk solutions!

Mathieu Pierre Dagonas,
Director, Communications and Stakeholder Affairs