New code to help TV subscribers make informed choices in a competitive marketplace

STARTING September 1, the Television Service Provider Code that was created to help Canadians make informed choices about their television service provider and resolve disputes in a fair and effective manner will come into effect, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Wednesday.

Television service providers must:

* Provide customers with a Critical Information Summary and a copy of the agreement which includes a list of channels or packages they subscribe to, their monthly charges for services, the commitment period and how to file complaints.

* Clearly set out the duration of promotional offers, the regular price once any discounts end, and any obligations placed on a consumer if they accept the offer, such as a minimum commitment period.

* Provide customers with a timeframe and information on any potential charges regarding service calls for installations and repairs.

* Give 30 days’ notice to consumers in the event of a change in price of channels, bundles of channels or rental equipment.

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) will administer the Code. Anyone unable to resolve a dispute directly with their television service provider can file a complaint with the CCTS, but only about issues that took place after the September 1 effective date. Complaints can be filed using an interactive questionnaire at

Judith A. LaRocque, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC, said: “Canadians will be more empowered in their relationships with television service providers. Starting September 1, they will have access to information about their packages in a clear and easy-to-understand format. Moreover, having the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services administer the Code will make it convenient for Canadians to have all their complaints related to their communications services handled by one body.”