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CRTC introduces code of conduct for TV providers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has introduced what it describes as a code for television service providers. The code is intended to help consumers make more informed decisions about these services and to resolve disputes more fairly and effectively. It is also intended to address consumer concerns that cable and satellite companies do not always provide adequate information about service packages and pricing. Adherence to the code will become mandatory in September 2017.

The new code requires television service providers to offer consumer information in a format that is easy to understand, including the list of channels or bundles to which they are subscribed. It also requires companies to specify the duration of promotion offers as well as the regular price of the service once the discounts end and any obligations placed upon the consumer if they accept the offer. Companies must also provide a timeframe for service calls regarding installations and repairs and give 30 days' notice of changes to price, bundles of channels or equipment rental.

"The new code of conduct will empower Canadian TV viewers as they navigate a dynamic marketplace," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC. "It will ensure that they receive information that is easy to understand and that they are notified of changes to their services. The code will also will improve customer service and how complaints are handled in the future. Canadians expect that their television service providers will implement the code as soon as possible. Providers are strongly encouraged to take the necessary actions now, so that Canadians have the information to choose the provider that best meets their needs. Doing so may also prove to be a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

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