Canada restricts 'win-back' marketing for cable TV

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OTTAWA--Canada's telecommunications regulator has hit cable TV companies with new marketing rules restricting win-back efforts when customers cancel service. New regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission are meant to "both encourage and sust1in competition" among established cable companies and smaller fledgling cable television providers.

Established cable television marketers are now banned from offering "discounts, free services ad other inducements" to customers when they call in about canceling their service; marketers can't initiate contact with those customers for 90 days to try to win them back. There are no restrictions on new cable TV marketers.

"New entrants do not have the critical mass of historical consumer information or the range of services that incumbent cable companies currently enjoy," the commission explains in a letter to Canada's biggest cable companies.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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