OTTAWA – The Annual Report 2018-19 of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) shows an increase of 35% in consumer complaints for all communications services compared to last year.
Wireless problems continue to lead the pack by service type, rising 53% over last years’ complaints and constituting more than 40% of all communications complaints.
The leading issues in wireless are billing and contract disputes, despite the protections of the Wireless Code; a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) “Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Retail Sales Practices”; and high retail pricing compared to other comparable countries, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) noted.
“The Wireless industry is being reviewed by the CRTC right now. It is clear that billing, contracts and service standards are not meeting the reasonable expectations of Canadians,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “Canadians are increasingly frustrated by the high costs of wireless service and the hassle of continued problems and so they are starting to complain.”
Service delivery issues were up by 61.6% from last year, and were noted to be most commonly raised by internet customers. Specifically, loss or degradation of services, such as slow speeds and outages were their most common concerns. The CCTS reports that in some cases, customers are experiencing internet speeds that they believe are unsatisfactory given the maximum speeds offered by their specific internet plan. PIAC’s recent research report on the CRTC’s recently created Internet Code confirmed consumer concerns regarding slow internet speed and misleading advertising but warns that the Internet Code, in our view remains a weak shield for consumers.