Code of Conduct Reporting

Annual Report

August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020

When the CCTS investigates customer complaints about telecom and TV services, we try to determine if the service provider has reasonably met its responsibilities to its customer.

We use four mandatory CRTC codes of conduct as yardsticks against which we measure service provider conduct:

  • Wireless Code: For consumer and small business (mobile) wireless services
  • Deposit & Disconnection (D&D) Code: For home phone services
  • Television Service Provider (TVSP) Code: For subscription TV services (residential customers only)
  • Internet Code: For all retail fixed internet access services (including cable, fibre, digital subscriber line [DSL], fixed wireless and satellite services) and internet services provided by Canada’s ten largest internet service providers. (Mobile wireless internet services are covered by the Wireless Code.)

To learn about how we administer the CRTC codes of conduct, watch the video below.

For more detailed information about the preceding codes, see:

“My 2-3 year ordeal of trying to resolve over-billing with the service provider was corrected in less than a week. Thank you CCTS.”

Resolving complaints and analyzing code compliance

When we accept a customer complaint we record and track all of the issues raised in the complaint. Some complaints raise questions about whether a service provider has complied with a code of conduct. We call these “alleged breaches.”

The vast majority of complaints are resolved to the satisfaction of the customer and the service provider at an early stage of our process. When complaints are resolved, there is no need for us to investigate the underlying issues, including to determine if there have been any violations of a code of conduct. Therefore, these issues remain characterized as “alleged breaches.”

In the cases that we do investigate, we can determine whether there has been a violation. We categorize proven violations as “confirmed breaches.” When we investigate and determine that there has not been a violation, we categorize this as “no breach.”

In this section, we present statistical reports on breaches of the four applicable codes using the preceding terminology.

Wireless Code

The Wireless Code seeks to ensure that consumers of voice and data services are better informed of the rights and obligations contained in their contracts. The Wireless Code applies to individual and small business consumers, and all wireless service providers must follow its guidelines.

Figure 6.1: Summary of Wireless Code breaches

From 2,897 alleged breaches, 2,539 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 358 breaches were investigated. Out of the 358 breaches investigated, 184 breaches were confirmed and 174 were not confirmed as a breach.

Table 6.1: Wireless Code confirmed breaches by section

There were 184 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code, an increase of 16.5% over last year.

Section B (contracts and related documents) was the most breached section (over 36% of all Wireless Code confirmed breaches), an increase of almost 29% over last year. We found that, in 14 cases, a permanent copy of the contract was not provided to the customer: this is a contravention of the requirements of the Wireless Code.

The second most-breached section was Section C (Critical Information Summary), with almost 29% of Wireless Code confirmed breaches—a 278% increase over last year.

Section E (bill management) accounted for only 6.5% of all Wireless Code confirmed breaches, a 50% decrease from last year. This is the second year of sizable decreases. Last year, Section E accounted for 15% of all Wireless Code confirmed breaches, a 41% decrease from the preceding year.

Table 6.2: Wireless Code confirmed breaches by service provider

Koodo had no breaches of the Wireless Code last year but 101 breaches this year, accounting for almost 55% of all confirmed breaches. Bell had 27 breaches of the Wireless Code (close to 15%), a 41% decrease from last year. Rogers had 17 breaches (9%), a 45% decrease from last year.

Freedom Mobile had 25 breaches last year but only one breach this year, a decrease of 96%.

Deposit and Disconnection Code

The D&D Code provides local phone customers with protection in some cases when they’re required to provide a deposit as a condition of obtaining local phone service or when a service provider intends to disconnect the customer’s local phone service.

Confirmed breaches of the D&D Code have declined through the years, with six breaches two years ago and no breaches last year. However, this year there were nine breaches of the D&D Code. Seven of these breaches were to Section 3.2 (notice at least 14 days prior to disconnection).

Figure 6.2: Summary of D&D Code breaches

From 124 alleged breaches, 104 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 20 breaches were investigated. Out of the 20 breaches investigated, 9 breaches were confirmed and 11 were not confirmed as a breach.

Figure 6.3: Summary of TVSP Code breaches

From 467 alleged breaches, 446 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 21 breaches were investigated. Out of the 21 breaches investigated, 7 breaches were confirmed and 14 were not confirmed as a breach.

Television Service Provider Code

The Television Service Provider Code (TVSP Code) is intended to make it easier for Canadians to understand their television service agreements and to empower residential customers in their relationships with TVSPs.

The TVSP Code applies only to consumers (not small businesses), and all licensed TV service providers must follow its guidelines. We address complaints about subscription TV services provided by cable, Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and national satellite direct-to-home (DTH) TV service providers.

There were seven confirmed breaches of the TVSP Code this year, up from three last year.

Table 6.3: TVSP Code confirmed breaches by service provider

Internet Code

The Internet Code was created so that customers of fixed internet access services are better informed of their rights and responsibilities contained in their contracts with internet service providers (ISPs). As explained in the CRTC’s detailed Regulatory Policy, the goal of the Code is to make it easier for individual customers to understand their internet service contracts, to prevent bill shock from overage fees and price increases, and to make it easier for Canadians to switch internet service providers.

The Internet Code applies only to individual customers; it does not apply to small business customers.

The CRTC published the Internet Code in July of 2019 and the CCTS began to administer it when it took effect on January 31, 2020.

The Code applies to the following service providers:

  • Bell Canada (including Bell MTS, NorthernTel and Télébec)
  • Cogeco
  • Eastlink
  • Northwestel*
  • Rogers
  • SaskTel
  • Shaw Telecom
  • Videotron
  • Xplornet

*Some Northwestel internet services are subject to rate regulation. Customers should forward their complaint to the CRTC.

In the six months since the CCTS began administering the Internet Code, there were only two confirmed breaches: one by Bell (Section A. Clarity) and one by Virgin Mobile, which is a Bell company (Section G. Contract cancelation and extension).

In the same six-month period, there were 135 alleged breaches of the Internet Code. Section A (clarity) accounted for the highest proportion (27%), followed by Section D (changes to contracts and related documents), which accounted for 24%. Section I (disconnection), Section B (contracts and related documents) and Section G (contract cancellation and extension) accounted for 17%, 15% and 11%, respectively.

Figure 6.4: Summary of Internet Code breaches

From 135 alleged breaches, 129 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 6 breaches were investigated. Out of the 6 breaches investigated, 2 breaches were confirmed and 4 were not confirmed as a breach.