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j_a_t_h

join:2002-04-29
Calgary, AB
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TELUS

CRCT complaint about Telus reply

Dear CCTS,

TELUS is in receipt of Mr. **********s complaint filed with the CCTS with respect to TELUS recent announcement to our customers of upcoming changes (effective February 1, 2013) to the download and upload usage amounts (GB/month) for TELUS High Speed Internet service. We are providing the following information and response in relation to this matter.

TELUS provides high speed internet access (HSIA) service to our customers in a very competitive marketplace, and the recently announced changes are being implemented to enable TELUS to manage our network performance, and to align with current industry standards. TELUS began advising its HSIA customers in December 2012 about the download/upload usage change for the customers Internet plan, such change being effective February 1 2013.

I would like to review how this change relates to TELUS Service Terms for this HSIA service, and how TELUS communicated and advised the customer of the upcoming change.

Service Terms

The customers use of TELUS Internet Service is governed by the applicable Service Terms (Terms) for this service. Under section 18 of the Terms, TELUS is contractually entitled to change the amount of usage for downloads and uploads pursuant to sections 18 as follows:
General Practices and Limits
18. You acknowledge that TELUS may establish general practices and limits concerning use of the Services including, without limitation, the maximum size of any e-mail message that may be sent from or received by a Services account, the maximum disk space that will be allotted on TELUS' servers on your behalf, the maximum amount of data that may be sent from or received by a Services account and the maximum number of days that e-mail messages will be stored on TELUS' servers. Such general practices and limits shall be posted on the Services Web Site or otherwise made available to you. You agree to comply with all such general practices and limits. You acknowledge that such general practices and limits may differ for different portions of the Services and may be set at different levels for different users based upon factors that may be determined in TELUS' sole discretion. TELUS reserves the right to change these general practices and limits at any time, in its sole discretion, with or without notice. You further agree that violating such practices or exceeding such limits may result in suspension, restriction or termination of your account, removal of content, information or materials from TELUS' servers, or the imposition of additional charges (additional charges are described on the Services Web Site).

I would note that such change to the upload/download limit is not an amendment to the Service Terms itself. If this were the case, then TELUS would then be required to provide specific notice to the customer pursuant to section 1 of the Terms. In this instance, TELUS obligation is to post the limits, or changes to the limits, on the Services Web Site. In addition to this posting, TELUS also advised its customers of the change by notice on the customers billing statement.

Notice to the customer

The notice to the customer was placed in the usual location on the bill. I have attached the December **, 2012 bill for this customer and you will see this notice set out on page 4. The standard TELUS format for customer invoices and how the various information items are positioned on the bill are as follows:

Part of the business rationale for TELUS making these changes to the download and upload usage amount is to balance the relationship between the customers usage and the companys costs across TELUS customer base. TELUS accomplishes this by offering its customers a variety of Internet plans with different characteristics that better meet the needs of customers with different usage profiles. This, in turn, helps TELUS to better control instances where some customers exceed their contractual limits which in turn can have negative impact on the efficacy of the overall network. One of TELUS Customers First objectives is to always try to best match the customers plan, and the monthly cost of that plan, with the actual amount of download and upload bandwidth that the customer uses each month. The objective for the customer is to have an Internet plan that realistically reflects their actual usage patterns so that moderate users do not end up subsidizing heavy users, as high usage customers can compromise the Internet experience for everyone else.

Non-acceptance of the Internet usage change

As explained above, a change to the customers download and upload Internet usage amount is allowed under the Internet Service Terms and such possible change during the service term is contemplated under section 18, General Practice and Limits. In this situation, TELUS has made such a change and has communicated same to the customer pursuant to section 18.
Given that TELUS has not changed the Service Terms with the customer, the customers options, if he/she does not agree with them, are set out in section 55 of the Terms, which terms specifically note that termination charges may apply.
Term and Termination
55. Upon the expiry of the term of this Agreement, TELUS will continue to provide you the Services on a month to month basis on the terms and conditions then applicable, unless you notify TELUS at least 30 days in advance of your intention to terminate your Service or enter into a new service agreement.
Unless otherwise agreed, you may terminate this Agreement at any time by notifying TELUS at least 30 days in advance. Where this Agreement is made for a fixed term, you will be required to pay TELUS a termination charge in the amount specified on the Service Web Site, as liquidated damages and not as a penalty, in addition to any other amount then owing to TELUS, if you terminate this Agreement prior to the end of the term or if TELUS terminates the Services for any of the reasons listed below. You may also be required to pay a reconnection fee to have the Services reconnected.
However, in this case, our records confirm that the client is did not receive promotional products with the internet services, therefore Mr. Hagen is not subject to any term obligations or termination charges for the internet services.

Summary

TELUS position on this matter is that this dispute is not an eligible complaint falling within the definition or scope of the CCTS Procedural Code.

The complaint relates to TELUS High-Speed Internet service and the customers issue is with TELUS notice to the customer in December 2012 of the upcoming changes to the customers download and upload usage limit. Based on the above information and analysis, it is TELUS assessment and position that the subject-matter of the complaint relates to general operating practice(s) of the company and to policy matters.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 4.3 of the CCTS Procedural Code, TELUS position is that the complaint is out of scope as the CCTS is not able to issue a Recommendation and/or a Decision that directs or requires the service provider to change its operating practices and/or policies.

At this time, with the evidence provided to the CCTS, TELUS does not feel that an error was made in changing the overall download usage caps. TELUS followed the Service Account Agreement conditions and made changes to all accounts accordingly. I trust that this is the information that you require. Please contact me if you wish to discuss or review any of this information.

Sincerely,

*******************
TELUS, Regulatory Affairs


j_a_t_h

join:2002-04-29
Calgary, AB
I have tried to contact Telus about these issues with no luck. it seems that they prefer to let the CRTC fight the battle for them.

DanteX

join:2010-09-09
kudos:1
reply to j_a_t_h
You know what I do not like how Telus basically signs you up to a contract which is verbally agreed to I might add then tells you that you have no rights while in this contract. Well you have two rights you either pay your bill monthly or you face termination charges. Telus should have no right to charge you termination charges if you do not agree to the new terms. A change in terms should provide you with a easy free escape.


hm

@videotron.ca
reply to j_a_t_h
said by j_a_t_h:

I have tried to contact Telus about these issues with no luck. it seems that they prefer to let the CRTC fight the battle for them.

This is a "material change in service" and it can be brought before the CCTS, and the CCTS has to rule on this.

Also, A material change in service, such as this, is followed by the company giving you 30-days advanced notice. In addition, with a material change in service you are no longer bound by contract and can leave the contract w/o any penalty. The CCTS would support this.

However, if they don't want to honour any contract and keep you at the same service level should you not wish to leave, then I am unsure what the CCTS will do, or enforce. In Ontario and Quebec, we start Class Actions should they not want to honour their end and make material changes to the service.

So while you wait for the CCTS, you can also send an Email off to the Tony Merchant law group who loves these type situations, »www.merchantlaw.com/ and they may get back to you.


Exand

join:2001-10-28
Canada
said by j_a_t_h:

I have tried to contact Telus about these issues with no luck. it seems that they prefer to let the CRTC fight the battle for them.

The CCTS and CRTC are two different bodies. Which body did you contact (you're using both bodies interchangeably which is not correct)?

said by hm :

This is a "material change in service" and it can be brought before the CCTS, and the CCTS has to rule on this.

Unfortunately I believe Telus is right, the CCTS can't do anything because they look at complaints for compliance with contract terms / commitments, not the actual contract terms themselves. Because Telus has in their fine print a "we can do anything we want" section, the bandwidth cap drop is within Telus's legal right.

Also, the CCTS won't handle anything under the governance by the CRTC. While the CRTC doesn't regulate rates / QoS / business practices of ISP's, they do however look over Internet traffic management practices, essentially how ISP's manage the flow of traffic through their networks. That's how Rogers got reported to the CRTC for throttling game traffic.

So the halving of bandwidth cap could be construed as being an impediment to traffic flow, meaning you can file a complaint to the CRTC instead:
»www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t1043.htm


MadCow

@electronicbox.net
reply to j_a_t_h
Typical contract terms abuse... Taken to its limit section 18 means they could reduce you maximum usage to 0GB/month and you'd still be contractually obligated to pay them. When a contractual clause overreaches what it can reasonably demand, then it gets totally invalidated in the eyes of the law.


hm

@videotron.ca
said by MadCow :

Typical contract terms abuse... Taken to its limit section 18 means they could reduce you maximum usage to 0GB/month and you'd still be contractually obligated to pay them. When a contractual clause overreaches what it can reasonably demand, then it gets totally invalidated in the eyes of the law.

Basically, yes. This is what Telus pulled, and is pulling, with their "simplified terms of use".

This is class action material if ever I saw it. It's an abuse of the entire process and the "Raison D'etre" of the CCTS.

DanteX

join:2010-09-09
kudos:1
reply to j_a_t_h
By the looks of things by accepting the bribe aka freebies when signing up on a contract you waive all your rights and Telus basically owns you.

But then then again let them change the bandwidth caps it still doesnt make a difference if you do 1tb a month and their readings only state you did 200GB


j_a_t_h

join:2002-04-29
Calgary, AB
reply to j_a_t_h
So I replied to the CCTS that I do not remember that on any contract I signed and asked them to get telus to produce the contact I sign. It has been 2 weeks and the only reply I got is the case it closed.


j_a_t_h

join:2002-04-29
Calgary, AB
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TELUS
reply to j_a_t_h
Update: I have been dealing with CCTS about the issues with Telus internet caps and changes to the contact. All of a sudden I no longer have an internet contract with Telus just an Optik TV contract. I change in story from Telus. So I am free to go to an other internet provider. Well Optik TV is hooked into the cable lines in my house, so cable internet is out. Other DSL have 'issues' with service when you have Optik TV. So may options are no internet, satellite, and Telus with their bandwidth limited. So Telus has managed to get away with placing a bandwidth limited on someone who agreed to an unlimited account.

CR123

join:2006-11-04
Vancouver, BC
You should be able to get cable Internet even if you have Optik (a new coax run could likely be installed). I don't know for sure, but I thought you could get dry loop ADSL from another provider as well if you have Optik.
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- The content of this post is my opinion, and does not reflect the opinions of my employer. -