Just so you don't have to search around, this is where you complain to the CRTC.
I would suggest reducing the volume and duration of the audio alert signal and making all BTUs add a "dismiss" option to all DTA and STB interfaces that don't now have it.
Do you know what is really a lot of fun? Paying for a movie with tons of action in it and you have your stero cracked up for that theatre experince. When the sound blast came on I thought my speakers were done. And my wife freaked out because it hurt her ears.
Last night before I found this forum--after some searching--I tried contacting tech help by phone and found that there was roughly a two hour wait time. I doubt that's typical even on a Sunday night, so this issue impacts Rogers on various levels.
This is the email I wrote to the CRTC, in case anyone wishes to copy & paste:
Last night an Amber Alert was broadcast over the television. The alert noise was so loud I believe it would cause hearing loss--the next morning I still had a ringing in my ears from the blast, which was as loud as a smoke alarm but more piercing in its frequencies.
I was forced to turn my television off as quickly as possible. The noise caused my dog to panic, and I have to say that someone with a baby in their home would be distressed to carry the child outside to get away from the noise. The volume and frequencies are harmful.
Needless to say, an alert of this disruptiveness is counterproductive at best.
Please modify these alerts.
I wonder if contacting an MPP would help.
So it was a screwup on behalf of the OPP issuing a Red Alert, which should be reserved for national emergencies. Let's hope someone gets severely reprimanded. Looks like any low level helper in a police station should not have access to the Big Red Button.
After listening to this podcast it appears that the alert was probably deployed by some clown in Ottawa, not the local OPP and it affected 40-50 million TV viewers, well beyond just Ontario, Since it's Ottawa, nothing will probably happen. There's a lot worse coming out of there these days.
The National Alert Aggregation & Dissemination System is run by Pelmorex Communications Inc. They also operate the Weather Network and MétéoMédia. From their website:
"Pelmorex’s NAAD System collects public safety messages from authorized government authorities and distributes those messages by satellite and through the internet to broadcasting undertakings such as radio and television stations, cable and satellite TV companies and other last mile distributors (LMDs). There is no charge by Pelmorex for these services."
It would appear that they have offices in Oakville and Mississauga.
This is part of the response from the CRTC:
The alerting system, and how it is used, is the responsibility of the federal body, Public Safety Canada, along with the Emergency Management Organizations (EMOs) in the provinces and the territories. These organizations have created and approved the guidelines and standards that are used, including how the alerts appear and sound. This is not the responsibility of the CRTC or the broadcasters who deliver the messages. The CRTC’s role is restricted to ensuring that the broadcasting industry participates in the emergency alert system, as overseen by the EMOs, in co-operation with Pelmorex, the system operator.
They didn't seem to take my point about the counter-productiveness of deafening people.
Word for word the same canned response I got. It does not address the breaking of protocol by somebody and substituting a Red Alert for an Amber Alert.
It seems pointless to show these alerts on my TV at home. If I'm at home how can I look out for the lost person, a certain car or whatever. In the past 5 minutes I've had 2 alerts and they interrupt my viewing.
If these get so annoying no one is going to read them anyway. It seems to me a very poor solution to trying to inform the public. If it was for major weather alerts or other emergencies that happen only once or a few times a year then this system would make sense.
Obviously not everyone is able to "exit" or dismiss the alert. Which will cause people to walk away or turn off the tv and maybe consider that an hd antenna and streaming show wouldn't have this constantly on my screen. You put the alert up, then allow me to acknowledge with a button after a set amount of time assuring the viewer has read it, say 30 seconds. Then go away. I've been watching an alert about a baby being kidnapped no where near me for the last 30-45 minutes right across the top of my screen. I read it once and remember, I didn't retain the licence because I'm IN MY LIVING ROOM so it's pointless to retain that info. The "alerts" are actually a good idea the implementation is dumb without an exit button.