ICA Canada wrongfully charges customer after cancellation and improperly bills customer for seeking dispute resolution
Ottawa (January 24, 2023) – The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) has issued a Decision to internet service provider, ICA Canada On-Line Inc. (ICA), requiring ICA to compensate a small business customer and cancel improper charges.
When the CCTS investigates a complaint, providers are required to provide information and documents to demonstrate that they have reasonably fulfilled their obligations to the customer. ICA refused to cooperate with the CCTS’ investigation and did not provide any information or documents to explain its conduct. The CCTS proceeded with its investigation relying on the company’s website, their Terms of Service and evidence provided by the customer. The CCTS then issued a formal Decision.
Summary of Complaint. In 2022, a small business customer provided 60 days’ notice to cancel their internet services with ICA, whose Terms of Service require customers to provide 60 days’ notice for cancellations. ICA did not cancel the service on the requested cancellation date, delayed the cancellation by a month and billed the customer for an extra month of service. In addition, the provider issued another bill for $1,299 after the customer sought help from a third-party complaint handling agency, which the customer refused to pay.
CCTS Findings About the Customer Cancellation Request. The CCTS found that the customer had provided proper notice of cancellation, which ICA should have acted on. Therefore, the CCTS Decision requires ICA to refund the customer for the extra month of service. The CCTS noted that ICA’s 60-day cancellation policy violates a CRTC rule that prohibits such cancellation policies. The CRTC rule gives customers the right to cancel their service at any time upon notice to their provider.
CCTS Findings About Billing of Customer Complaint Fee. While ICA’s Terms of Service say that it will bill the customer “up to $450” in the event that a customer requests an investigation or disputes ICA’s terms, CCTS found that any charge that penalizes customers for seeking recourse is not permitted. The CCTS addressed this issue in a previous Decision against ICA in 2020. Since the complaint fee is not fair or reasonable, the CCTS Decision requires ICA to cancel the $1,299 fee for the complaint and confirm that it has ceased and corrected any collections and credit reporting activities for this charge.
Remedy Required by CCTS. Under the CCTS’ procedural rules, ICA is required to implement a refund for the extra month of service and waive the complaint fee, failing which the CCTS will take further enforcement steps.
“This is a clear example of a service provider not meeting their obligations to the customer,” says the CCTS’ Commissioner and CEO, Howard Maker. “Canadians have a right to escalate their complaints about phone, internet and TV services to the CCTS, free of charge, without fear of being penalized for doing so.”
“There are consequences to not following the rules,” continues Mr. Maker. “Since the customer has accepted our Decision, the outcome of our investigation is binding, and ICA must implement these remedies.”
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. This year, the CCTS celebrates 15 years of helping Canadians. To date, we have handled over 150,000 complaints – most resolved within 30 days.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Communications and Stakeholder Affairs