“IFC was one of the reasons why I took the VIP bundle in the first place,” said Star reader Ted Tuszynski. “I have a two-year contract because I was looking for cost certainty in my cable bills over a set period of time. Rogers expects us to honour our contracts, but doesn’t seem to honour its contracts.”
“Messages informing customers of the change were placed on invoices in February and March of 2104. A reminder was recently sent in the same manner on March of 2015. If you did not receive notification, we apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
This is a non-answer, one customer said. Did Rogers survey its customers first? Another said, “IFC had genuinely good movies and you move it away from our VIP package to ‘improve’ our viewing experience?”
TV providers must give you at least 45 days’ notice when making changes to the price of individual channels or packages of channels, according to the new code (part IX). They must also explain clearly your options should you no longer wish to subscribe to the changed service.
The new code also talks about how long you have to wait for a service call to your home to install TV equipment or make repairs (part XI).
What is an acceptable timeframe for TV providers to respond to a service problem? Is it 48 hours? Is it 72 hours?
Should there be a limit – say four hours – on when a service call begins? Suppose your TV provider promises to come in the morning, but keeps you waiting until 3 p.m., after you booked off only a half day of work?
What do you really get when you sign up for a special offer or promotion? The CRTC wants TV providers to ensure that all offers are explained clearly and explain when they start and end, what is the price after a time-limited discount ends and what are your obligations if you accept an offer. Is there anything else you need to know?
The TV code of conduct will be mandatory, as is the wireless code adopted in December 2013. Almost 2,000 people posted comments in the previous online consultations, leading to the CRTC’s decision to restrict wireless contracts to two years (from a previous three years).
“It’s not that difficult to write something, even just one sentence,” says CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais. “Just use ordinary language. Tell us what you think. I’ve found there’s a lot of wisdom in the crowd.”
This is your chance to tilt the TV rules in your favour.
Free seminar: My financial basics workshop will be held Tuesday, May 19, at Ryerson University’s Chang School, 5.30 to 9.30 p.m., at 297 Victoria St., Toronto, if you want to brush up your money management skills.
Highlights of the draft code for TV service providers: