Telecom Ombudsman Anticipates Return of Defaulting Service Provider
Ottawa, April 28, 2017 – In August 2016, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) terminated the participation of VOIS in its telecom complaints-handling organization for failing to comply with the requirements of participation. In particular, VOIS failed to implement binding decisions against it in six separate customer complaints, depriving those customers of the compensation to which they were entitled. Since telecom providers are required to participate in CCTS, VOIS’ expulsion put it in breach of its regulatory obligations, and CCTS referred the matter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the industry regulator, for further action. The CRTC commenced a proceeding against VOIS in November 2016, and VOIS failed to respond to the proceeding, just as it had failed to cooperate with CCTS.
The CRTC has now issued a decision fining VOIS and requiring it to re-join CCTS within 30 days. “CCTS will identify to VOIS exactly what steps it needs to take to re-join CCTS and thus comply with its regulatory obligations”, said CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker. “This will include ensuring that all the customers which we directed VOIS to compensate receive the redress to which they are entitled”.
As noted by the CRTC, “the requirement to be a participant in the CCTS reflects the importance of the CCTS and its value to consumers”, and VOIS’ “repeated and long-standing failure to participate in the complaint resolution process and provide remedies to complainants, is a serious matter”.
“All of this began because VOIS ignored CCTS. VOIS then ignored the CRTC, both prior to and during the proceeding”, noted Maker. “We will welcome VOIS back into participation so that its customers have the benefit of the protection offered by CCTS. But it will be up to VOIS to commit to respect its obligations to its customers”.
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.
For more information: Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS), firstname.lastname@example.org, toll free: 1-855-512-9783