Telecom Complaints Down, Code Violations Up. CCTS releases first mid-year report on operations.
Telecom Complaints Down, Code Violations Up
CCTS releases first mid-year report on operations
Ottawa – With the release of its inaugural Mid-Year Report, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) reports an 8.5 per cent decrease in complaints in the first half of its reporting year, continuing the trend described in its 2013-14 Annual Report. The Mid-Year Report covers the period between August 1, 2014, and January 31, 2015.
“The pattern of declining complaints has continued since February 2014, and this is good news for both consumers and service providers,” said CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker.
CCTS reports that billing errors continue to be the most commonly raised issue (13 per cent of all issues), followed by complaints about non-disclosure of contract terms (almost 12 per cent of all issues). Despite the decrease in complaints, consumers have been raising both issues more frequently, and CCTS is concerned with this trend.
CCTS is also reporting increased violations of The Wireless Code (328 confirmed breaches). In a recently published op-ed, Mr. Maker addressed the increase, noting that the Code applies to an expanding body of consumers as they enter into new contracts. Further, CCTS is increasingly expert at interpreting the Code’s provisions, even as service providers have been making changes to their contracts, terms of service, policies, and processes. These and other factors produce new and different situations to which the Code applies.
“Is the sky falling?” asked Mr. Maker. “Not really. CCTS is certainly concerned about the increase in confirmed breaches, but we expected to see an adjustment period while providers and consumers learn to understand the Code’s full impact, and we think that’s what’s happening here.”
The Mid-Year Report also highlights CCTS’ continued success in resolving complaints to the satisfaction of customers. In the reporting period, over 87 per cent of complaints were successfully resolved.
“This first Mid-Year Report is primarily a transparency initiative,” said Mr. Maker. “As Canada’s independent and impartial telecommunications ombudsman, we feel it’s important to provide information about the complaints we are seeing and the issues that they raise more regularly to customers, industry, and regulators.”
About the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)
Since July 2007, CCTS has provided consumers with an independent and impartial mechanism for the resolution of complaints about deregulated local and long distance telephone services, as well as wireless service and internet access. This includes billing errors, compliance with contract terms and commitments, service delivery, credit management and collections issues. Visit our website at www.ccts-cprst.ca.
To schedule an interview with the Commissioner, or for more information, please contact:
Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)
Toll free: 1-855-512-9783