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Rogers outage: What we know so far about refunds for Friday’s service disruption – Global News



Rogers Communications’ network outage on Friday left consumers and businesses without service for nearly a full day — and now they’re looking for compensation.

The outages affected wireless service, internet connectivity and phone lines, as well as important infrastructure such as the Interac payment network.

Rogers eventually told frustrated consumers that a maintenance issue was behind the downed service, and promised that users would be “proactively credited” for the disruption.

Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri told Global News in an interview Monday that the company would “do the right thing” when it comes to reimbursing affected users and businesses alike.

So what are Rogers customers owed, and when will the compensation land in your account? Here’s what we know so far.

Click to play video: 'The fallout from the Rogers outage and tips to stay proactive'

The fallout from the Rogers outage and tips to stay proactive

The fallout from the Rogers outage and tips to stay proactive

What is the status of Rogers’ network?

Staffieri said Monday that the telecom giant ran a “root cause analysis” into the system failure that confirmed initial assumptions about an error in the code of a network maintenance upgrade.

That error was pushed through the Rogers system, which overloaded the network with data and caused equipment to fail, he said.

The company is still seeing “very few intermittent issues” but Staffieri did not have an exact figure on how many customers are still without service on Monday afternoon.

Read more:

Rogers CEO apologizes, says ‘maintenance upgrade’ behind major outage

He said the company’s focus is on getting connectivity back and ensuring the resiliency of the network in the days to come.

“What happened on Friday is unacceptable and we’re committed to taking every step within our control to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

How much is Rogers going to give customers? When?

The telecom CEO said Monday that Rogers will be figuring out what each customer is owed on a “pro-rated basis based on the duration of the outage.”

He confirmed that credits will be automatically applied to customer accounts.

Click to play video: 'Rogers outage leaves customers wondering how this happened'

Rogers outage leaves customers wondering how this happened

Rogers outage leaves customers wondering how this happened

The compensation should appear automatically on the next month’s bill, though he said some might be processed the following month.

This approach is similar to how Rogers handled refunds for its outage in April 2021.

Affected customers won’t have to apply for the refund in any way — text messages purporting to be from Rogers and asking users to enter information or click on links to claim their compensation should be treated as likely spam.

What about businesses?

As inconvenient as Friday’s outages were for consumers, the inability to process payments or, in some cases, answer the phone meant significant lost revenue for many businesses in Canada.

“This coming right after two years of pandemic-related restrictions and closures is devastating. Every single day of income at this period is absolutely critical,” Dan Kelly, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), told Global News on Monday.

Many businesses were left scrambling to come up with different payment solutions after going cashless during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly noted.

Read more:

Businesses lost more than internet during Rogers outage — ‘Our sales were diminished’

The CFIB is hoping there’s a more significant recognition from Rogers about the widespread impact of its outages on the Canadian economy.

Kelly said he’d like to see a month’s worth of charges for Rogers utilities covered for affected businesses, not just a single day, to reflect the outsized impact for business owners.

“I’m going to lose it if Rogers thinks that one day of (fees) is the adequate compensation for a small business,” he said.

Global News asked Staffieri if businesses would be treated any differently than personal accounts.

He did not answer directly, but reiterated that the company is having individual conversations with customers on a case-by-case basis to address concerns about service and compensation.

“Our primary goal is to make sure they have the connectivity and to continue to work with them and keep them as customers. It’s in our interest to do that,” Staffieri said.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement Monday that Rogers “has a responsibility to pay back small businesses that lost revenue during the outage.”

Click to play video: 'NDP opposed to Rogers-Shaw merger, Singh says'

NDP opposed to Rogers-Shaw merger, Singh says

NDP opposed to Rogers-Shaw merger, Singh says – Nov 22, 2021

Kelly said one lesson for those affected by the outage is that while bundling services with one telco might keep costs lower upfront, diversifying phone and internet deals could protect a business when service drops.

“From a business contingency perspective, the best advice we have for business owners is not to put all of your apples in one wagon here,” he said.

How do we know this won’t happen again?

The outage has prompted swift reaction from Rogers, government and other stakeholders to ensure network outages aren’t as long-lasting or widespread.

“You can expect changes going forward to make sure that we improve the resiliency and redundancy of our networks so that this doesn’t happen again,” Staffieri said.

Rogers will announce exact changes to its network infrastructure in due course, the CEO said, but he hinted that there will be operational changes and stopgaps built into the network to avoid cases where a single error can be spread quickly through the system.

Staffieri also said the company had identified the issue that prevented some customers from being able to call 911 during the outage, and said Rogers would be sharing that information with other industry stakeholders to keep critical services functioning when any one provider experiences an outage.

Staffieri was set to meet with Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne and other telecom heads on Monday afternoon to discuss ways to improve network reliability across Canada.

Read more:

Canada’s industry minister to meet with Rogers CEO after ‘unacceptable’ outage

Interac, meanwhile, said on Monday that it was adding another network provider to its system after the Rogers outage left millions of Canadians locked out of online payments.

What can consumers do?

The widespread impact of the Rogers outage reveals an over-reliance on a few major telecom providers in Canada, industry stakeholders say, and there may be a role for consumers to play in promoting competition in the sector.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) filed a letter with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Friday during the outage calling for an inquiry into the problems.

The NDP also called for an inquiry Monday and suggested it would call Champagne, Rogers and Interac to committee to hold them accountable for the lost service.

PIAC is also seeking to establish a set of baseline service requirements in the event of an outage to keep Canadians informed about the issues and create a standard for compensation in these incidents.

Yuka Sai, a staff lawyer with PIAC, told Global News the lack of such standards leaves consumers in the dark about what they’re owed when their network drops.

She said the outages reveal gaps in Canada’s telecom landscape, where drops in service can have an amplified impact.

Read more:

Rogers outage sheds light on need for competition in Canada’s telecom sector, expert says

“The national magnitude of the outage really calls into question whether it’s wise to rely on one large national provider in many cases to provide a wide swath of network services, internet services, and that, in the absence of real competition, is a real problem,” she said.

Rosa Addario is a communications manager with Open Media, which advocates for an open, affordable and surveillance-free internet in Canada.

Both she and Sai said the best thing for consumers to do now if they’re upset about the Rogers outages is to write letters to Champagne and their local members of Parliament calling for a more competitive telecom landscape in Canada.

Addario said the need to pressure policymakers is especially high as Rogers seeks regulatory approval for its proposed $20-billion acquisition of Shaw Communications.

“We should be angry right now and we should be upset and we should take this as an opportunity to light a fire under us and consider how we can strive for a better system,” she told Global News.

“This doesn’t have to be the status quo.”

— with files from Global News’ Anne Gaviola and Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto



A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.

New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.

Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.

In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.

Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.

That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.

“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.

In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.

“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”

While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”

The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.

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Commuters face GO transit cancellations, possible strike – CityNews



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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail



The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.

The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.

The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.

However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.

Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.

“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.

The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.

The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.

As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.

“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”

The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.

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