2008: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints
2009: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints
2010: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints
2011: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints
2012: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints
2013: CCTS says wireless billing errors top the list of consumer complaints.
It’s happened yet again.
According to the annual report by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS), this year titled ‘Driving Positive Change,’ the overall number of complaints have decreased, but the top consumer issue is still billing and contracts. The CCTS is an independent and industry-funded agency that was established back in April of 2007 with a mandate to resolve complaints regarding telecommunications in Canada.
The CCTS says it received 11,340 customer complaints over the past year, which is a 17% decrease over the previous year (13,692). The organization also noted that 87% of the accepted complaints were successfully resolved, with 77% of them concluded within 40 days.
Leading the charge once again this year is wireless services with 10,167 complaints. Similar the last five years, billing errors topped the list with 4.676 complaints, followed by contract disputes with 3.379 complaints, and service delivery (installation, repair and maintenance) representing 1,673 complaints. The following list is a breakdown of wireless providers and the number of complaints they each received:
1. Bell with 3,651 complaints (32.20%)
2. Rogers with 2,379 complaints (20.98%)
3. Fido with 905 complaints (7.98%)
4. Virgin Mobile with 815 complaints (5.76%)
5. TELUS with 653 complaints (5.76%)
6. Wind Mobile with 510 complaints (4.50%)
7. Videotron with 294 complaints (2.59%)
8. Koodo Mobile with 172 complaints (1.52%)
9. Public Mobile with 128 complaints (1.13%)
10. MTS with 120 complaints (1.06%)
11. SaskTel with 91 complaints (0.80%)
12. Mobilicity with 58 complaints (0.51%)
An area of focus for the CCTS this year was on the CRTC’s Wireless Code, which came into effect on December 2nd, 2013, ending three-year contracts. The CCTS said it identified a total of 762 “alleged breaches” in 600 separate complaints. Of these 600 complaints, it felt it was necessary to investigate 51 breaches and revealed 30 “confirmed breaches” of the Wireless Code.
The reported breaches by telecom companies were varied: critical information within the contract was not provided; the terms and conditions were not followed; early cancellation fee was billed; the process for disconnection of wireless service was not followed; a customer was charged additional usage for unlimited services; a data cap was not implemented; the device unlocking provision of the code was not followed.
“Many of our participating service providers are making efforts to do better – in the way they provide their services to their customers and the way they work with customers when things go wrong,” said, Commissioner Howard Maker. “Many customers felt that they had not received all the necessary information regarding the price and services included in their plan and which services would incur additional fees” said Maker. “Properly informing customers of the necessary information relating to their services needs to become a top priority for the industry. That being said, customers still need to be vigilant about reviewing the terms and conditions of their agreements.”