CRTC Poll: Canadians ‘Extremely Concerned’ About Misleading Telecom Sales Practices

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced Canadians can partake on Twitter in an upcoming public hearing regarding possible use of misleading and aggressive sales tactics by telecom providers.

By using tweets with the hashtag #CRTCforum (following social media Rules of Engagement), Canadians can share on the public record their input during the hearing, which launches on October 22, 2018, at 9AM EDT. These tweets will be considered by the Commission in its report to the federal government on the issue.

CRTC IPSOS Poll Reveals the Majority of Canadians Concerned over Telecom Sales Practices

The CRTC today also released data from a poll conducted by IPSOS, which asked Canadians most likely targeted by telecoms when it comes to allegations of misleading or aggressive sales tactics, particularly seniors, those living on disability, or those who do not speak English or French.

Data saw 58% of these groups either “extremely” or “very concerned” about misleading sales practices, while 48% are concerned about “aggressive” sales practices:

  • About 40% of participants reported having experienced sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada that they consider to be aggressive or misleading, the majority of which reported their most recent experience took place within the past year (60%), this means that 24% of Canadians who participated in this public opinion research reported experiencing misleading or aggressive sales practices within the last year.
  • A majority are extremely or very concerned about misleading sales practices (58%), while nearly half are as concerned about aggressive sales practices (48%).

The IPSOS poll also stated customers from Rogers and Bell/Aliant “are more likely to report having experienced aggressive or misleading sales practices either overall or in regards to the specifics types of practices presented. They are also more likely to indicate their experience took place within the past year.”

Other telecoms mentioned include Videotron customers, which “are more likely to report experiencing salespeople selling products or services they do not want and are among the most likely to report their experience was within the past year.”

“Canadians’ interactions with telecommunications service providers need to be carried out in a fair and respectful way. We are committed to providing a fulsome report to the Government on whether misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are used by large telecommunications service providers. To ensure a broad range of input from the public, during the public hearing, we are inviting Canadians, to share their comments on Twitter during the public hearing using the hashtag #CRTCforum. The goal is to allow the greatest number of Canadians to share their experience on this important issue,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC, in a statement.

Earlier this week, CBC News reported on why telecom companies made it difficult for Canadians to cancel services, as phone agents were told to never let someone leave on their watch, or be penalized.

The CRTC will need to submit its report to the federal government by February 28, 2018.