CRTC launches online survey on telco sales practices


The CRTC has launched an online survey asking Canadians about the sales practices of large telecommunications service providers, like Bell, Rogers and Telus.

Canadians have until Sept. 7 to participate in the survey which is part of the CRTC’s consultation leading up to a report to government on whether misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are being used by large telecommunications service providers, their impact on consumers, and potential solutions to strengthen consumer protections.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains ordered the CRTC to investigate in June after media reports and direct complaints about misleading sales tactics.

The CRTC is seeking comment on:

  • Misleading practices such as failing to provide consumers with the information necessary to make informed decisions or providing incomplete, unclear or misleading information.
  • Aggressive sales practices including offering products to consumers that are unsuitable for them and the abuse of an ill-informed or vulnerable consumer base to benefit the providers.
  • The harm, or risk of harm, to consumers related to their finances or situations that could cause stress, confusion and frustration as a result of aggressive or misleading sales practices.

In addition to the survey, Canadians can submit an intervention until Aug. 30.

The commission is particularly interested in hearing Canadians’ personal experiences with such practices, including comments from those who are vulnerable due to their age, a disability, or a language barrier.

Current or former sales or customer service representatives of the service providers and other stakeholders like public interest organizations or research groups are also invited to comment.

The CRTC will be conducting focus groups across the country as part of its investigation and hold a public hearing in Gatineau, scheduled to start on Oct. 22.

For the purposes of the proceeding, large telecommunications carriers include: Bell Canada, Eastlink, Cogeco, Northwestel, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, TBayTel, TekSavvy, Telus, Videotron, Xplornet and their subsidiaries.

The CRTC’s report to government is due no later than Feb. 28, 2019.

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