CRTC Chair: Bad Telecom Sales Practices Report ‘Not About Naming and Shaming’

The CRTC released their report to the federal government yesterday, titled Report on misleading or aggressive communications retail sales practices, detailing how telecoms in Canada were indeed deploying misleading or aggressive sales practices.

The report came up with some solutions to prevent and monitor bad telecom sales practices, including the implementation of a ‘secret shopper’ program, with period results being published for the Canadian public.

Now, in an interview with The Canadian Press, CRTC chairman Ian Scott, has stated the report was not about calling out specific telecom companies, but rather to gather information and provide recommendations to the federal government, to fix existing problems.

“So, honestly, from the commission’s perspective, it is not about naming and shaming,” Scot told The Canadian Press.

Why weren’t companies like Rogers and Bell—found to be apparently guilty of misleading sales practices according to a CBC News investigation—not outed in the report?

Scott said the worst telecom offenders were “readily apparent” during the CRTC’s proceedings on the matter, and noted “but that’s not what the report’s about.”

Instead, the CRTC’s report, according to Scott—a former Telus executive—is to fix problems now, “no matter who is treating customers this way, whatever service provider, and to whatever extent.”

“There’s no reason for the carriers to wait for us to put in rules to tell them to start treating the customers properly. They can start that right now, and they should,” added Scott.

According to ISED Minister Navdeep Bains, he said in a statement the CRTC was directed to investigate allegations of unsavoury sales practices because “No Canadian should have to fear being misled or be treated unfairly by a telecom company.”

According to non-profit consumer group OpenMedia, the CRTC report failed to address any real solution for Canadians, condemning the spine-less solutions, saying “there is no clear commitment for what the CRTC will actually do to curb these issues, timeline for when these considerations may be made, nor any penalties being issued to offending companies.”

“Reassurances everyone can see the problem don’t help people who have lost their money, been misled, and are continuing to interface with these companies,” wrote Laura Tribe from OpenMedia, concluding “who’s going to actually step up and take action?”

Today, the CRTC called for Canadians to comment regarding the possibility of creating an Internet Code for telecom players to adhere to–by sharing their thoughts on the commission’s Facebook page.

Do you think the CRTC is ready to combat misleading and aggressive telecom sales practices?

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