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April 6, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Failure to Disclose Vital Information Main Source of Consumer Complaints Against Telecom Companies

April 6, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Failure to Disclose Vital Information Main Source of Consumer Complaints Against Telecom Companies

Ottawa, ON – Failure by telecommunication companies to disclose important information about their services and contracts continues to be the largest source of customer complaints to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS), according to the organization’s 2016-17 Mid-Year Report, released today.

“Understanding what you are getting when you sign up to receive a service or product is fundamental in a consumer transaction”, said CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker. “That can only happen if service providers ensure they present customers with clear information that sets out their rights and responsibilities”.

The Wireless and TV Codes of Conduct issued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission stress the need for service providers to communicate with customers using plain language and clarity.

“In complex consumer transactions clarity is critical. We are hopeful that these requirements will help reduce the many miscommunications and misunderstandings that lie behind so many of the complaints that we see”, said Maker.

CCTS’ Mid-Year Report lists the number of complaints received from the customers of all Participating Service Providers. CCTS is the administrator of the CRTC’s codes of conduct. The Mid-Year Report notes fewer breaches of the Wireless Code in the first half of 2016-17 (52) than in the same period last year (120), as well as a decline in violations of the Deposit and Disconnection Code (13 to 7). CCTS will begin administration of the TV Service Provider Code effective September 1, 2017, when it comes into effect for most television providers.

Over half of the concerns about quality of service in the period related to internet service. This is an increase of 12% over the same period last year, and is the leading concern expressed about internet. Also noted is a 14% increase from last year in the number of complaints against internet service providers about early cancellation fees.

CCTS continues to efficiently deal with customer complaints. The Mid-Year Report notes that almost 90% of complaints are resolved to the satisfaction of the customer and the service provider.

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:

Hayley Chazan

(613) 688-1183

For Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services

Email: communication@ccts-cprst.ca

Twitter: @ccts_cprst

Facebook: Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services