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CCTS mid-year report shows six percent increase in telecom complaints

The report outlines that customers raised more internet-related issues since the start of the pandemic

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) saw a six percent year-over-year increase in the number of complaints it received, according to its mid-year report.

The CCTS is an independent organization in Canada dedicated to resolving complaints regarding telecommunications and TV services.

According to the mid-year report, which was released on March 29th, the commission accepted 9,121 complaints between August 1st, 2020 to January 31st, 2021. Last year, the commission accepted 8,621 complaints within the same time frame.

The report outlines that customers raised more internet-related issues since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as poor service quality and complete loss of service.

“Bell accounts for 20.3 percent of all complaints accepted, followed by Rogers at 13.2 percent, Fido at 10.3 percent, Telus at 7.1 percent and Freedom Mobile at 6.5 percent,” the report states.

Montreal-based national carrier Bell saw a 17.3 percent decrease in complaints. The commission received 1,849 complaints regarding Bell, compared to 2,235 in the same period last year.

Toronto-based national carrier Rogers saw a 23.9 percent increase in complaints, with the commission receiving 1,201 complaints regarding the carrier in total, compared to the 969 reported last year.

Further, Vancouver-based national carrier Telus saw a 7.5 percent decrease in complaints. The commission received 644 complaints regarding Telus, compared to 696 in the same period last year.

Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile saw a 1.9 percent increase in complaints, with the commission receiving 596 complaints regarding the carrier in total, compared to the 585 reported last year.

Issues regarding wireless services made up 41 percent of all complaints reported and internet issues made up 33 percent, while TV and local phone issues made up the rest.

The commission saw a 19.5 percent decrease in the number of issues regarding wireless services and a 6.2 percent increase in the number of issues regarding internet services.

Disclosure issues and incorrect charges were the top two issues raised in complaints. Other issues raised include intermittent/inadequate quality of service, breach of contract, credit/refund not received and complete loss of service.

The CCTS found 28 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code, down from the 46 reported last year. Ten of the breaches were due to the fact that a paper or electronic copy of a contract was not provided to the customer, or that the contract did not include all of the information listed in the Wireless Code.

Six confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code were related to the ‘Critical Information Summary’ provided by carriers, which is a document that summarizes the most important elements of a contract for a customer.

Three more confirmed breaches were related to service providers not suspending roaming data overage charges once they reached $100. Two confirmed breaches were related to early cancellation fees.

The commission notes that customers often raise issues that fall outside of its mandate. For instance, the commission cannot address complaints about specific customer service, such as wait times or rude representatives. The commission received 3,633 complaints about this issue.

It also is unable to address complaints about general operating practices and policies like the contents of plans and packages, but the commission received 2,413 complaints related to this issue.

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