Agency May Soon Oversee Cable TV Complaints

Schooley Mitchell complaintsAre you a Canadian with a telecom complaint? If you’re mad and informed enough you may take it all the way to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). If you don’t know about this watchdog, you should: the CCTS handles over 10,000 complaints per year and can force providers to pay consumers up to $5,000 in the event of a billing error.

That’s $5,000 in compensation over and above the amount of the error to be refunded. Have we told you some studies show up to 80 percent of telecom bills contain errors? Do the math. I bet you’re paying attention now.

While the CCTS has acted as official ombudsman over the telecom industry, its role may be widening. Depending on the outcome of a public hearing that starts today, cable television providers may soon join the list of industries the CCTS is charged with monitoring. The hearing, hosted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), also allows for public input via online forum until Nov. 9.

“While our public hearing is being held in the National Capital Region, the room itself stretches from coast-to-coast-to-coast to include all Canadians,” said CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais, in a press release.

“The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services plays an important role in a competitive marketplace, and is a resource for those who have experienced problems with their service providers. We invite Canadians to share their views throughout the public hearing to help us make decisions that are in the public interest.”