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Telecommunications company charges fee for non-published telephone service

PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-178


An individual complained that a telecommunications company is inappropriately charging customers for choosing to have their telephone number non-published.

Summary of Investigation

In 1998, the Commissioner's Office provided representations to the CRTC regarding the issue of charging customers for non-published telephone service. The CRTC took these views into consideration in implementing CRTC Telecom Order 98-109, which states that telecommunications companies can charge a maximum monthly fee of $2.00 for an unlisted telephone number.

Commissioner's Findings

Issued April 28, 2003

Jurisdiction: As of January 1, 2001, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the Act) applies to any federal work, undertaking, or business. The Commissioner had jurisdiction in this case because a telecommunications company is a federal work, undertaking or business as defined in the Act.

The Commissioner was satisfied that the company has the authority under the CRTC order to charge its customers $2.00 a month for non-published telephone service. He did not find this practice to be in contravention of the Act. This interpretation on the Act was confirmed by the Federal Court in Mathew Englander v. Telus Communications Inc. 2003 FCT 705.

The Commissioner concluded that the complaint was not well-founded.

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