Canadians who are dissatisfied with the price and service of their communications providers do not switch providers, according to a report from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
The report found that there are barriers that prevent switching, and that there has been minimal regulatory actions taken. The PIAC looked at home internet access services, home telephone, mobile phone, and paid television services, to form the report.
“Consumers are reluctant to try out competitive communications services, despite feeling they can and should,” said John Lawford, executive director and general counsel at PIAC, in a press release.
There are two factors that limit consumer choice in the service market, according to the report.
Firstly, there are significant contractual switching costs, along with charges for necessary equipment, and bundles that prevent the choice of a specific service on its own.
Secondly, the report states that human behavioural cognitive biases hinder consumers’ ability to make a decision regarding complex communications markets. These factors prevent them from altering their status quo.
The report acknowledges that the CRTC has addressed the barriers, but that there has been limited and uncoordinated regulatory and political action.
The PIAC has suggested that the CRTC should introduce a ban on multi-contract lock-ins for communications services, and allow customers to eventually be on a month-to-month contract.
Source: Public Interest Advocacy Centre