CRTC & Telecom News – CRTC to enact secret shopper program to fight misleading telco sales tactics

 

The CRTC says it will implement a nationwide secret shopper program, among other measures to be considered, to try to combat misleading sales practices by the big telcos. The commission released its Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices on Wednesday morning. Following 2,300 interventions, an Ipsos survey of 6,300 Canadians and five days of hearings in October that saw a rare, full panel of CRTC commissioners convened, the regulator’s report says misleading and aggressive sales practices are present in every type of sales channel, including in store, online, over the telephone, and door-to-door. The commission is looking at a range of actions, most of which will be subject to additional public process, including requiring a pre-sale quote that would require contract terms to be provided in writing; requiring service providers to offer trial periods to allow customers to cancel a service that did not match what they were offered; requiring service providers to ensure offers and promotions match a customer’s needs and means; and expanding the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services’ (CCTS) mandate to include handling complaints of misleading or aggressive retail sales practices. Read the full story here.

The CRTC has issued a call for comments on its Application Guide for the Broadband Fund. The deadline for submissions is Mar. 18.

Telus says it would be able to manage a ban on Huawei 5G technology after initially warning of increased costs and delays if the federal government were to ban wireless carriers from working with the Chinese company. As Ottawa and Britain conduct cybersecurity reviews, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia have already announced restrictions on next-generation Huawei equipment. In a discussion and analysis paper released in conjunction with its fourth quarter financial report, Telus said a decision prohibiting the deployment of Huawei technology could translate to an incremental increase in the cost and timing of its 5G network deployment. CEO Darren Entwistle later assured the company’s earnings conference call that it would be able to manage a potential ban, noting its 5G equipment supplier has yet to be chosen.

TELUS reported strong fourth quarter results with consolidated operating revenue of $3.8 billion, up 6.3 per cent over the same period a year ago. Growth was driven by higher wireless network revenue and wireline data services revenue growth, as well as higher wireless equipment revenue. Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 1.1 per cent to $1.2 billion due to higher revenue growth and higher wireless equipment margins. The company also posted strong customer growth, including 164,000 new postpaid wireless, internet and TV customer additions, its strongest fourth quarter result in four years.

Lorraine Mansbridge

Lorraine Mansbridge, veteran Global Edmonton/ITV reporter, is the featured speaker for the Edmonton Broadcasters Club 2019 Spring Luncheon. The event will be held Weds., April 10. More info here.

Callam Rodya

CTV News Sudbury reporter Callam Rodya is facing a number child porn-related charges. The 32-year-old, whose real name is Callam Senyk-O’Flanagan, is charged with three counts each of possession of, accessing, and making available child pornography and one count of possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance believed to be cocaine. The Greater Sudbury Police Service Cyber Crime Unit arrested Rodya last week after evidence of child pornography was located on computers seized from a residence, following execution of a search warrant. Rodya had been with CTV as a VJ and reporter covering Northern Ontario since Sept. 2017. He previously held positions with Sudbury.com and helmed communications for the Sudbury Theatre Centre.


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