Telecom and TV customer complaints up 35%, according to CCTS year-end report

The latest report from the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) indicates complaints from Canadian telecom and TV customers were up another 35% for 2018-19, with CCTS ending the year having received nearly 19,300 complaints.

An all-time high in the organization’s 12-year history, Canadians complained most often about their wireless service, followed by internet, TV and local phone service. CCTS says it received 20,000 complaints alone in regards to billing issues, with complaints up 65.9%, followed by issues related to disclosure of information about a service.

Complaints about information not being clear or fully provided were up 21.4% this year after a 125% increase last year. Bell Canada was the target of more than 39% of all disclosure complaints, up from 38% last year (2,163 issues raised).

Overall however, Bell’s share of all complaints declined from 33% to 30% (almost 5,900). Rogers’ share also declined from 10% to 9% (just over 1,800), while complaints about TELUS increased by 1.5% to 8%.

The CCTS also recorded a 42% increase in the number of Wireless Code violations. The most common involving failure to provide documentation to customers and proper notice before disconnection of service. There were only three breaches of the Television Service Provider Code.

“Record numbers of complaints, rapid industry change, and our own desire for continuous improvement have motivated us to focus on our dispute resolution process, and we’re looking at ways to improve our service to make it more efficient, effective and transparent,” said Howard Maker, CCTS’ Commissioner and CEO, in a release. “Our goal is to ensure that we continue to provide a service that’s easy for consumers and service providers to use, that resolves disputes promptly and fairly, and provides valuable insight into the specific challenges faced by consumers.”

Despite the increasing number of complaints, the CCTS says it was still able to successfully resolve over 90% of complaints. Starting Jan. 31, the CCTS also begins to administer the CRTC’s new Internet Code, applicable to large internet service providers and intended to help customers better understand service contracts, plans and promotions, and help prevent bill shock.

Rogers responded to Thursday’s report by issuing a statement crediting the company’s ongoing efforts to improve customer experience and listen to feedback for a drop in complaints.

“Since 2012-13, we’ve made progress by bringing down our total complaints by over 40% and our share of complaints by over 25%, where our largest competitors have seen significant increases over the same period,” said Rogers.

“We know we have more work to do and will continue to carefully listen to our customers to enhance their experience. We’re continuing to eliminate the most common pain points for our customers, including data overages with the introduction of Rogers Infinite plans and Fido Data Overage Protection this past summer. Our customers also told us they wanted more affordability, choice and transparency, and we introduced device financing of $0 down and interest-free options in July. We will continue to deliver the best customer experience using their feedback to guide us.”


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