Code of Conduct Reporting

Annual Report

August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

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.

Overview of CRTC codes of conduct

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 residential home phone services.
  • Television Service Provider (TVSP) Code: For residential subscription TV services.
  • Internet Code: For all retail fixed internet access services, including cable, fibre, digital subscriber line (DSL), fixed wireless and satellite services provided by Canada’s ten largest internet service providers and their brands and affiliates. 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:

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 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 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” and are categorized as “not requiring investigation” in the following charts.

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 customers of wireless 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 1,925 alleged breaches, 1,703 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 222 breaches were investigated. Out of the 222 breaches investigated, 96 breaches were confirmed and 126 were not confirmed as a breach.

Table 6.1: Wireless Code confirmed breaches by section

There were 96 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code, a decrease of 48% from last year. This decrease is driven by a significant decline in confirmed breaches for Koodo (101 last year compared to 4 this year).

The majority of confirmed breaches relate to disclosure issues stemming from lack of clarity or accurate information in communications with customers, information in and provision of contracts and related documents, and the Critical Information Summary.

This year, there were 14 confirmed breaches of Section A (Clarity), compared to 1 last year. The main issue was wireless service providers failing to communicate with customers using plain language. An example of this issue is provided in a case summary in Topics & Trends (Disclosure issue with early cancellation fees related to device financing).

Section B (Contracts and related documents) remains the most-breached section of the Wireless Code, accounting for 36.4% of all confirmed breaches – although there was a 57% decrease in confirmed breaches of this section compared to last year. Fourteen of the 29 breaches were because the wireless service provider did not provide a copy of the contract. The remaining 15 breaches were about incomplete disclosure.

Last year, we reported 53 confirmed breaches where wireless providers did not include all of the required key contract terms in the customer’s contract (B.1.(iii) a-e). Breaches of this Code requirement declined by 76% this year, to 13 confirmed breaches.

Section C (Critical Information Summary) remains the second most-breached section, with 29% of all Wireless Code confirmed breaches (down 49% from last year). Fourteen of the 27 confirmed breaches for this Code section were because the Critical Information Summary did not include all required information.

Table 6.2: Wireless Code confirmed breaches by service provider

Koodo had 101 confirmed Wireless Code breaches last year but only 4 this year. Last year, Koodo accounted for most of the confirmed breaches about Section B (Contracts and related documents) and Section C (Critical Information Summary).

Bell had 29 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code this year, up from 27 last year. Bell’s confirmed breaches account for 30% of all confirmed Wireless Code breaches.

Rogers had 25 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code this year, up from 17 last year. Rogers’ confirmed breaches account for 26% of all confirmed Wireless Code breaches.

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). The Internet Code aims 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 ISPs.

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

Since the CCTS began to administer the Internet Code when it took effect on January 31, 2020, 2020-21 is the first full year of CCTS reporting on confirmed breaches of the Internet Code.

The Internet Code applies to large facilities-based ISPs and their brands and affiliates listed in Table 6.3.

Figure 6.2: Summary of Internet Code breaches

From 506 alleged breaches, 454 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 52 breaches were investigated. Out of the 542 breaches investigated, 18 breaches were confirmed and 34 were not confirmed as a breach.

There were 18 confirmed breaches of the Internet Code this year. Last year, we reported two confirmed breaches for the six months the Code was in effect.

Forty-four percent (eight) of this year’s confirmed breaches were about Section I (Disconnection). There were four confirmed breaches to each of Section A (Clarity) and Section G (Contract cancellation and extension).

Table 6.3: Service providers governed by the Internet Code
Large facilities-based ISPs’ premium brand Brands and affiliates of premium brand
Bell Canada
  • Bell Aliant
  • Bell MTS
  • Dryden Municipal Telephone System (DMTS)
  • KMTS
  • Virgin Plus (formerly Virgin Mobile)
  • NorthernTel
  • Ontera
  • Telebec, Société en commandite
  • Maskatel
Northwestel Inc.*
  • No brands or affiliates
Cogeco Connexion Inc. (Ontario and Quebec)
  • No brands or affiliates
Eastlink
  • Amtelecom Limited Partnership
  • Coast Cable
  • Delta Cable
  • K-Right Communications Inc.
  • People’s Tel LP
  • Persona Communications Inc.
Rogers
  • Compton Communications
  • Fido
  • Source Cable
Sasktel
  • MaxTV™
Shaw
  • Freedom Mobile
TELUS
  • Mascon Cable
Videotron Ltd.
  • Fizz
Xplornet
  • Netset Communications

NOTE: This list is based on the information PSPs provide to the CCTS.

* Northwestel’s terrestrial retail internet services are regulated by the CRTC; therefore, customers should forward their complaint to the CRTC. Northwestel’s satellite retail internet services are not regulated by the CRTC, so the CCTS may accept complaints about these services.

Table 6.4: Internet Code confirmed breaches by service provider

* Because the Internet Code was administered by the CCTS for only six months of the 2019-20 fiscal year, there is no year-over-year comparison made to data for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Bell accounts for most of the confirmed breaches of the Internet Code, with 78% of confirmed breaches. Eastlink, Rogers, Shaw and Virgin Mobile each had one confirmed 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 residential customers (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.

Figure 6.3: Summary of TVSP Code breaches

From 162 alleged breaches, 142 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 20 breaches were investigated. Out of the 20 breaches investigated, 5 breaches were confirmed and 15 were not confirmed as a breach.

There were five confirmed breaches to the Television Service Provider Code (TVSP code) this year, down from seven last year. Two breaches were about Section X (changing programming options) and three breaches were about Section XI (notice for changes to programming options, such as channel packages or prices of channels or channel packages).

Table 6.5: TVSP Code confirmed breaches by service provider

Deposit and Disconnection Code

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

There were five confirmed breaches of the D&D Code this year, down from nine last year. Three breaches were related to Section 3.2 (customer notice at least 14 days prior to disconnection) and two breaches were related to Section 3.3 (advise customer 24 hours prior to disconnection).

Figure 6.4: Summary of D&D Code breaches

From 42 alleged breaches, 37 alleged breaches did not require investigation and 5 breaches were investigated. Out of the 5 breaches investigated, 5 breaches were confirmed and 0 were not confirmed as a breach.

Table 6.6: Deposit and Disconnection Code confirmed breaches by service provider