Wireless billing errors once again tops the list of consumer complaints

Ian Hardy

October 25, 2012 9:27 am

The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS) is an independent, not-for-profit, industry-funded agency that ensures the complaints Canadians have about their telecommunications services are heard. They agency was created in 2007 and for the past number of years they’ve released a report that gives specific details about telecom related complaints.

Their 2011-2012 Annual Report was called “We Listen. We Help.” and found a total of 10,878 complaints, up from 8,007 last year (35%), relating to Home Telephone, long distance telephone services, wireless services, Wired and Wireless internet access services, and white pages directories, directory assistance, and operator services.

Wireless complaints led the group with a total of 7,221 complaints, representing a whopping 60.2%. The past 3 years found wireless complaints were the main issues that consumers had, specifically billing errors and being charged the incorrect amount on their monthly statement, and this year is absolutely no different:

– 3,928 complaints were related to billing errors,
– Contract disputes represented 2,162 complaints,
– Service delivery (installation, repair and maintenance) experienced 942 complaints,
– Credit management complaints were 189.

A breakdown of all the complaints, including wireless and all the other telecom services, show the following companies number of complaints and the overall percentage:

– Bell had 2,749 complaints (25.36%)
– Chatr Wireless had 16 complaints (0.15%)
– Fido had 824 complaints (7.60%)
– Koodo Mobile had 202 complaints (1.86%)
– Mobilicity had 45 complaints (0.42%)
– MTS had 111 complaints (1.02%)
– Northwestel had 3 complaints (0.03%)
– Public Mobile had 16 complaints (0.15%)
– Rogers had 2,881 complaints (26.58%)
– SaskTel had 50 complaints (0.46%)
– Solo Mobile had 176 complaints (1.62%)
– SpeakOut Wireless had 1 complaint (0.01%)
– TBayTel had 6 complaints (0.06%)
– TELUS had 1,211 complaints (11.17%)
– Videotron had 242 complaints (2.23%)
– Virgin Mobile had 491 complaints (4.53%)
– Wind Mobile had 391 complaints (3.61%)

In addition, Ontario was the province that had the most complaints with 45.2%, followed by Quebec with 25.6%, and British Columbia with 13.5%.

You can check out the full report here at the CCTC

  • iphoneee

    with apple maps, there are more errors than just billing

  • Jessy

    Makes me want to switch from Bell to Telus.

  • HighClassFrenchCricket

    This is actually part of Rogers & Bell’s business plans, they know the average working man doesn’t the patience to spend 2 hours on the phone being passed around like a hot potato disputing fake charges. Absolute thieves.

    • James

      I’m an average working man and I have the patience to deal with Bell.
      Granted, by the time I get where I need to be I’m usually annoyed and the person on the end will have their day ruined as a result, but I still get through and get it done.

    • Ron Mexico

      I just use Rogers online chat for customer service, takes 5 minutes start to finish. Calling in to a CSR is so 2001

  • Alex P

    Bell has by FAR the worst customer service in the Canadian telecom business. Rogers a close second. Stats above are definitely representative.
    Props to Telus for making an effort to be better.

  • Michael

    Wow. WIND Mobile has more complaints than Koodo, Mobilicity, and Public Mobile combined! Even Quebecor owned Videotron has less complaints than WIND Mobile!

    WIND Mobile, now number one in ignoring the conversation.

    • Dan A

      It would be more helpful if the percentages were a percentage of their customer base. It’s a little misleading, the one with the most customers is likely to have the most complaints.

    • Rep

      i did the /sub study, for quebec region
      here it is from worst to best:
      1- videotron with +-350 000 sub = 0.069% complaint/sub
      2- bell and sub brand with +-7 450 000 sub = 0.046% complaint/sub
      3- rogers with sub brand 9 350 000 sub = 0.04%
      4- public with 456 000 and 0.004%.

      we have to keep in mind that public does NOT sell anything but wireless. giving them a great advantage since the complaint are for all telecom services.

  • Dan A

    They’re crooks. My parents had text messages charged to their tablet by Rogers. That’s not something you just make a mistake about, there isn’t even a phone number for it. My father still had to spend an hour on the phone explaining and arguing with them. I had Bell try to charge me a $25 activation fee halfway through my contract.

    They’re thieves, and then Bell has the nerve to say “The Canadian system needs companies with the scale to compete against foreign content” re: Astral media. Screw off, Canadian companies let us down.

    • 45

      I’m fairly sure that tablets are given phone numbers, and that you can add SMS packages to them, so I’m assuming that would mean you could text with them.

    • James

      If the tablet has 3G connectivity, there’s a phone number attached to it. If it’s WiFi only, then yes, Rogers messed up somewhere.

    • anona

      45 is right. Tablets do recieve a phone number and can text message via 3rd party apps.

    • Dan A

      Ok sure, lets say they do have phone numbers attached to them somewhere on the underlying system.

      1) I could find no info about receiving a phone number with a 3g data plan. Searched all over Google, please direct me.
      2) Bell didn’t provide a phone number for the tablet.
      3) No text messaging app was installed. The bill called the text messages “received” (but never showed up on the tablet).

      The charge to receive text messages is also ridiculous, but that’s another debate entirely.

    • Dylan K

      Look at the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and 8.9, they have text messaging apps built right in, even though a phone app is non-existent. It could happen, by mistake or otherwise is up to debate.

    • Dylan K

      @Dan A:
      Read your contract, there is a phone number on it. It’s the Rep’s job to go over it, but you signed it. Also, some tablets (see my other post) DO have messaging apps installed by default, and you will get dinged the 25c to send and receive.

    • MattyMattMatt

      lololololol. If Rogers has the tablet on a plan then it has a number as it has a cellular network connection, thus it can receive messages. Tablets have phone capabilities stripped, but are still capable of text.

  • mauricio

    what about Petro Canada ?

    Zero complaints ? I don’t think so, me and my girlfriend already had problems with them this year

    • god

      petro-canada is affiliated with Rogers so it goes in the 26% I assume…

  • ag

    Wow.. people in Ontario complain a lot:p. J/K

  • HighClassFrenchCricket

    aww whats the matter? did i offend all you third party Rogers dealers? hahaha

  • Porilaisten

    Robbers is the winner, that’s to no surprise.

  • Michelle

    Quebcors like to complain. If Telus had the subs that Rogers and Bell have in Quebec their numbers would be higher.

    • Frenchie

      phuck you asswhole!!

    • Porilaisten

      Eastern Canada in general likes to complain, with the exception of the maritimes. Telus’ base is mainly in the west which is why their complaints are lower.

    • Rep

      Telus might have a slight advantage having so much client in the west this is for sure but its interesting to look at the full report and see the big3 having MORE complaint Year over Year EXCEPT for telus going on a close to 13% DECREASE in complaints… Congrats to TELUS…

  • Osama

    @HFC: I agree, I always suspected that this was part of their business model. They hope people don’t notice, so they charge long distance for MY5 calls, charge data usage which should have been included in the plan, etc. You have to always call them to dispute them, which they claim was an “error”, ya right!

    @Porilaisten: notice how they were first but they were buried in the middle of the list?

    • Dylan K

      (1) read about what you are getting, and if you don’t understand or need clarification ask. Half of what I deal with are people assuming they have something when they don’t. Part of that can be placed on the original person setting them up, but in the end they signed the paperwork.

      Ignorance is fun.

  • Steve

    @michelle The numbers from this article don’t support your (borderline racist) claim.

    • Michelle

      The numbers do support my claim. Videotron is Quebec only and they have the highest complaint ratio in the country.

      Michelle

    • Kal S

      pretty sure being from “Quebec” doesn’t qualify as a race

  • Jenny S.

    @Osama OMG the list is alphabetical. CONSPIRACY!!! :P

  • Ryan

    I bet across the board a lot of this billing complaints are just people being stupid or ignorant. We live in a society full of people unwilling to take responsibility for the their own !@#$ ups.

  • JV

    Been With Bell for a Number of years, maybe a decade. They have Always treated me well. Yes i have had to deal with customer service because one of my Phones stropped working. And yes it took a couple of weeks for it to get fixed. However i took the time to understand what it was that i was Buying, what my plan covered, and what i can expect from those services. i asked QUESTIONS. i didn’t simply assume things about the services and or plans i purchased. I did my research and i asked all my questions. Now i know what i can expect from my service provider, and am VERY Happy with the service i have received from bell. I was with Rogers for 6 or 7 years and they truly were horrible back then. Bell has Given me nothing but peace, and a very reasonable plan, that i feel i get more then enough value for what i pay a month. People gotta wake up and stop getting angry at your service provider simply because your ignorant and don’t understand what you should expect from your provider.

    Mind you no organization or company is perfect, so there will be mistakes, but its up to everyone involved to help each other so that everyone can be happy, customer get there solution, and the company keeps your business. Hope this hasn’t put many of you off. Just my take on how i see things. I hope everyone has a kick a*s Thursday (personally it kinda feels like a Friday on my end today) Cheers!

  • Jay

    I work in the cell industry and personally I’d like to know how many of these billing issues are caused by customer negligence. You know, being in a border town and not setting your phone to “Home Only”. Going over your minutes and saying you didn’t. Not knowing what’s long distance and what isn’t. Not having a plan that suites your life… I swear, there are more people coming into my store with billing issues that are THEIR FAULT than anything. I’d say MAYBE 1% of the complaints we get about billing are an actual billing error. People really need to stop being ignorant about their services (Phone, Cell, Cable, Internet) and get educated.

  • 5Gs

    Really feel sorry for those who are still with robelus.. Join WIND and you will never have this problem.

  • some guy

    Sad part is, the majority of the billing complaints are the “I’m paying to much for my service.” with those complaints being filed AFTER they signed up for the contract and plan.

    I agree we pay too much, but there are the discount brands you could sign up with. If you don’t want to pay for the “premium” carriers, don’t sign the paper and hand over your credit info… durr.

    Until people use their brains in conjunction with their wallets, we are going to see the continual rise in prices at the “Big 3.”

  • Wind the crap

    Wind had far more than that.. we all know that !!!

  • Leo M.

    Wind Mobile have overcharged me over $140 for over 2500 txt messages that I did NOT send, while I was away in Europe. First off, the European package that I bought prior leaving to Germany did not work properly. My phone data service stopped after the 1st day abroad. I called Wind multiple times to resolve the issue with no positive outcome.

    Upon, returning to Canada after a 10 day trip I received a bill where I accumulated $20 in roaming charges for phone, text and data usage – all of which were valid. BUT, I also received an additional charge over $140 for approximately 2500 text messages that I sent. The charge was under category “Special Text and Voice Service”.

    I called Wind multiple times to resolve the issue, but each time a person would give me a standard answer “There is noting wrong with your bill” – oh yeah, then show me when did I sent the 2,500 txt messages and to which numbers? A case was opened and two WEEKs later I received a call for Wind back office. The lady told me AGAIN that “all charges on my bill were valid”! So I confronted her again with proof – she told me she will check and will call me later that day. Later that day I received a call from another back office worker who told me that I did in fact sent those messages and told me that I can see txt service history online for my account to verify this. So, I went online while being on the phone with him and found no such text messages. I confronted him with proof again. He started saying “thank your for choosing Wind mobile and have a great day” and hung up !!!

    In summary, I had bogus charges on my bill, and at least 5 people working for Wind Mobile lied to me on the phone and did not even try to look into issue.

    Blatant and ridiculous scam!!! Wind Mobile = SCAM!!!

    I am filing complaint with CCTS