The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS), an independent yet industry-funded agency, has released its annual report for the year 2015-2016 and found wireless complaints once again topped the list.
However, there is a bright spot. Following the trend for the third consecutive year, the number of customer complaints received by CCTS sharply declined.
The CCTS’ report covers local and long distance telephone services, wireless service and internet access from all telecommunication companies in Canada. Coming September 2017, the CCTS will also include TV service providers and produce the TV Service Providers Code, which will most likely resemble the Wireless Code of Conduct.
Howard Maker, Commissioner and CEO of the CCTS, said: “We attribute this decrease to a number of factors, including the desire by service providers to keep their CCTS numbers low, some improvements in service provider customer service (thus keeping many complaints from escalating to CCTS), and an increased willingness by providers to resolve certain types of complaints ‘in-house’– particularly those that may disclose a possible violation of a CRTC code of conduct.”
There was a total of 15,761 complaints with 50.3 percent (7,931) being from wireless customers. Similar to previous years, billing (3,364) was the main issue with 41.1 percent of all wireless complaints, followed by contract dispute representing 31.5 percent (2,706).
“The CRTC prohibited the practice for post-paid wireless services in TWC (The Wireless Code), effective December 2013. Since then we have seen a steady decrease in the number of times wireless customers complained about having to provide thirty days’ notice to cancel their service, now receiving 54 percent fewer such complaints compared to the period prior to the CRTC’s prohibition,” said the report.
Regarding specific service providers, Bell is at the top with 2,940 accepted complaints, representing 35.9 percent of the total, and is a decline of 18.3 percent from the same period last year. Rogers continued its focus on customer service with another solid performance by a decline in complaints by 52.5 percent, which is only 861 total complaints. Telus, however, while still low on the complaint scale, jumped 22.3 percent in complaints to account for 7 percent or 570 total complaints. The remaining carriers are as follows: Wind/Freedom Mobile (498), Virgin (497), Fido (453), Videotron (402), and Koodo Mobile (207).
Ontario experienced the most complaints with 3,961, followed by 2,328 in Quebec, and 822 in British Columbia.
It is also interesting to note that the CCTS has awarded $3,445,359.50 to Canadians who have complained about their telecom service providers.