Iristel makes guarantee to netTalk customers

MARKHAM, Ont. January 19, 2016 – Iristel President and CEO Samer Bishay continues working with the regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, to determine a solution with regard to the phone numbers of netTalk customers in Canada.

“We want to do what’s right for the Canadian consumer,” Mr. Bishay says, adding he hopes the numbers will be back to consumers within days, not weeks. “When netTalk was disconnected by another Canadian carrier in 2014 for non-payment – and Iristel stepped in to help netTalk customers – that disconnect lasted 10 days. We do not want it to last that long. But the CRTC must ensure, for the consumers’ sake that once the numbers are returned they do not run into this trouble again with netTalk refusing to pay for service.”

Iristel makes this guarantee: ALL CONSUMERS WILL GET THEIR PHONE NUMBERS BACK and be able to port them with a reputable Canadian service provider once a CRTC-sanctioned solution is achieved. In other words, if you sign up with a different Canadian service provider now, you’ll receive a new telephone number which you will be able to switch back to your long-held number currently held in reserve. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We know this has been difficult for everyone, but please bear in mind that Florida-based reseller netTalk has refused to pay Iristel for almost two years while using our CRTC-licenced telecommunications infrastructure for its customers. And netTalk did this despite collecting money from Canadian consumers.

Under CRTC rules, as carrier of record, Iristel cannot reach out and contact netTalk customers directly, unless they contact Iristel. This has added to the confusion because netTalk has repeatedly messaged its customers with distortions and untruths about this current situation.

“I’ve been asked many times if I was leery about netTalk two years ago when we stepped in to help with their non-payment disconnect by another carrier back then,” Mr. Bishay says. “And my answer is that I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and help their Canadian customers. Hindsight is 20-20 and had I known then what I know now, we would not have stepped in.”

Iristel cannot continue to allow netTalk to collect money from Canadian consumers and not pay its suppliers. And without a CRTC-sanctioned solution, netTalk could try to continue to abuse Canadian consumers and other suppliers. netTalk has run up fees of nearly $2 million to Iristel and such business practices must stop.

We are truly sorry for this inconvenience to netTalk customers and assure them that Iristel is not trying to put them in the middle. However, they have already paid netTalk for telephone service, yet netTalk has not paid the proper Canadian companies for customers to stay connected. netTalk’s behavior when it comes to paying its vendors was discussed publicly by employees in the past on forums:

About Iristel

Iristel is licenced by the CRTC and is one of Canada’s largest Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC) with facilities in all 10 provinces and three territories.
Customers may contact Iristel Customer Care:
Media Relations Contact:
Bob Brehl
Media Relations