Changing Long-Distance Service Providers

The CRTC no longer regulates the rates, terms of service or business practices of long-distance service providers.

In today's competitive telephone market, there are many choices for long-distance services offering a variety of features. Consumers can shop around for the service that suits them best.

Before you switch long-distance service providers

Ask questions

Gather information and documentation from a potential service provider. Ask plenty of questions, such as:

  • When will the service switch?
  • How and when will you receive bills?
  • Do you have to subscribe for a minimum time period to take advantage of low rates?
  • How and when can the service provider change the rates and services?
  • How will the service provider let you know about any changes to rates or services?

You need to authorize a switch in your long-distance provider

A long-distance service provider must get your (or your agent’s) authorization before it can transfer your subscription. Your agent can be an adult member of your household. You can give your authorization in one of the following ways:

  • written authorization
  • oral authorization, which must be verified by an independent third party
  • electronic order authorization, where you dial a toll-free number given to you by the company
  • confirmation via the Internet

When you give your authorization

When can give your authorization, keep these points in mind:

  • the customer is the person whose name is on the bill
  • an agent can be a member of the customer's household
  • read the contract, including the fine print
  • tell everyone in your household about the choice you made

Unauthorized switching of long-distance companies or "slamming"

If your long-distance telephone company is switched to another company without your permission, it’s called “slamming.” Slamming is not condoned by either the industry or the CRTC.

How do you know if you've been slammed?

  • To find out who is providing you with long-distance service, call 1-700-555-4141 from your telephone.
  • Check your monthly telephone bill.

What to do if you've been slammed

  • Report the transfer to your original long-distance company immediately and ask to be switched back.
  • Pay only the rate you would have paid to your original phone company.
  • File a complaint with the company that switched your service.

If you are not satisfied with your service providers’ response, you may contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).

The CCTS is an independent agency that helps resolve your complaints about telecommunications services.  Contact them at:

  • email:
  • mail: P.O. Box 56067 – Minto Place RO, Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 7Z1
  • fax: 1-877-782-2924
  • toll-free telephone: 1-888-221-1687
  • toll free TTY: 1-877-782-2384

What about changing my local service?

For information on changing your local telephone service, go to Choosing your local home phone service.