Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 302

Document Name: 2015-134.226624.2518273.Interventions Phase 2(1hz4101!).html

Respectfully, I would like to draw the Commission's attention to three issues:A) Message Relay ServicesB) Telephone Directory ServicesC) Direct AccessibilityA) Message RelayCurrent Message Relay Services require a landline telephone, special equipment, and a lengthy signup/installation procedure. Given the availability of smartphones and computers, that approach to Message Relay is absurdly outdated. A web interface for computers and smartphones has to suffice. This would not only help citizens who have permanent needs for using a Message Relay Service; it would also accommodate users with temporary requirements.Personal Testimony:During several weeks of 2015, I was not allowed to speak due to a temporary medical condition. I would have been able to perform a 911 call if necessary, but normal conversation would have been very difficult and was not allowed by the doctor. I was astounded and disappointed to learn that it was impossible for me to use a Message Relay Service.This proved to be a massive problem; during that time, I had to contact the Canada Revenue Agency, banks, a travel agent, my cellular service provider (Koodo), and then some. The services I required were not offered online through email or chat. They all insisted I MUST CALL them for the respective purpose. Most of the entities had published a TTY telephone number. But for lack of oldschool TTY equipment I was unable not reach those numbers.I had to ask friends to call in my name, which was inflexible, required disclosure of private information, led to things being "lost in translation" which sometimes lead to several calls to the same entity, and quickly became a burden to my friends. I do not have a landline, there is no point in investing in expensive equipment for just a few weeks of use, and I understand I would have had to undergo a burdensome process to prove my medical condition. Yet, the technical solution would be very easy: A web interface as well as an app that speaks TTY and IP relay.B) Telephone DirectoryAny regulation in relation to telephone directories is of limited value if the directories themselves are not comprehensive.As it happens, some consumers who want to be listed in telephone directories are practically barred from being listed. This undermines the quality and usefuleness of the directories themselves.The Commission should mandate that every entity which provides telephone numbers to its customers has to provide the relevant data for a standard listing to interested telephone directory publishers, if the customer wants that. This should be done in a timely manner and at no charge to the customer.Personal Testimony:When I signed up for a cellular contract with Koodo in Nova Scotia, I wanted to be listed in the telephone directory. Koodo told me I had to go to Bell Aliant, because they ran the directory. When I went to Bell Aliant, they wouldn't facilitate my request because I was not a customer of theirs. They sent me back to Koodo, who, again, insisted I needed to deal with Bell Aliant. I gave up. Some months later I asked Koodo again, but to no avaiil. Ton this date, I am not listed in the telephone directories.C) Direct AccessibilityDirectly Accessable services are accessible from the get go. There is no need for a special solution for users with special needs.Most telecommunication providers offer some form of online customer service. For example, it is easy to enter into a contract with a cellular provider or ISP online. Most providers also offer customersupport through email and/or chat. However, these customer service options are often needlessly limited. For example, while a consumer can enter into a contract online, some providers do not offer cancellations of the same contract through the same means. Often, they insist on a phone call or a written letter in the mail.In other words: While entering into the business relationship is quite accessible, changing or ending the relationship is not.This is unfair, arbitrary, and results in discrimination of consumers with special needs. Affected consumers usually only experience such arcane limitations years after they have entered into the contract they want to amend or cancel. Thus, competition can not provide a remedy for this unfair treatment.The CRTC should mandate that customers must be empowered to cancel their contracts, inlcuding related options such as add-ons, the same way they entered into those agreements. For example: If it was possible to sign up online, it must be possible to cancel online as well.Thank you for your attention.In order to combat spam, I request confidentiality for my email address. If possible, please do not publish it online. I do not object to making it available to other participants of this proceeding.Best regardsDaniel AJ SokolovRaisons pour comparaitre / Reasons for appearanceIf the Commission deems that my participation in a hearing would be of help, I will be happy to appear. Otherwise, I do not wish to use up the Commissions' time.