CCTS Sees 57% Increase in Telecommunications-Related Complaints from Canadians in 2018

Canadians are complaining about the telecommunications sector more than ever before, says a new report.

According to a new report from CBC, the number of complaints received by the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) rose 57 percent over the year to July 2018, following an 11 percent increase from the previous year.

Canadians complained primarily about non-disclosure of information and bill surprises by wireless operators, accounting for almost 15 percent of all complaints across all types of telecommunications services.

“Customers will communicate with their service provider and then find out that the reality of what they get is not what they expected to get. This results in billing issues, in charges people don’t expect, on limitation on bandwidth or data,” said CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker.

“It’s a mismatch of customer expectations and what their service provider delivers.”

The CCTS also reported a 29 percent increase in Wireless Code breaches, the most common violations being the failure to properly apple data overage caps, provide contractual documents, disclose key contract terms, and provide proper notification before disconnection.

The “Big Three” — Rogers, Telus, and Bell — together accounted for half of all the complaints made with CCTS over the year to July 2018, and that number rises to about 68 percent when considering the companies’ “flanker brands” and related service providers.

The report also highlights the fact that complaints about internet service in Canada increased 170 percent over the past five years. This increase outpaces the growth in all complaints about other telecommunications-related services.

According to the CCTS, 92 percent of filed complaints were successfully resolved to the satisfaction of both the customer and the service provider, while over 80 percent of survey responders were satisfied with the timeliness in which the CCTS handled their complaints. 90 percent of responders were satisfied with the professionalism and impartiality of the CCTS.

The fact that consumers are complaining more now than ever before is a positive sign, says John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Center, as it means that the government now has more reason to listen and respond accordingly.

“It’s time for us to start increasing the number of complaints in Canada, and I’m glad people are starting to actively complain now,” he said.