A new wireless code put into effect by the Commission for Radio-television and Telecommunication Services (CRTC) may be helping fewer Canadians feel frustration with their wireless service providers, a new report indicates.

The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) released its seventh annual report on Tuesday and for the first time in its history, complaints are on the decline – by 17 per cent, according to the commissioner. But complaints related to understanding contract terms were on the rise.

While the bulk of complaints received by the CCTS are consumer-driven, small to mid-sized businesses do use the outlet as a way to seek resolutions with service providers. ITBusiness.ca has requested business-specific statistics out of the report. Until then, considering what service providers receive the most (or fewest) complaints and what issues are often a point of consternation may be helpful for businesses in a position where they are considering a service provider or advising employees as a part of a bring your own device policy.

Bell Canada received the most complaints out of all service providers, repeating in top spot from last year. Bell’s customers filed 32.2 per cent of all complaints received by the CCTS. It resolved 84.6 per cent of those complaints, lower than the average of 87 per cent that are resolved on average. It also saw more of its complaints escalated to an investigation by the CCTS, with 34 per cent compared to the average of 29 per cent.

Bell was followed by Rogers Communications Inc., with 21 per cent of all complaints. Bell and Rogers subsidiary brand round out third and fourth place – Fido saw nearly eight per cent of all complaints and Virgin Mobile Canada received 7.2 per cent of all complaints. Telus is in fifth place (receiving the least complaints of the “big three” telcos) with 5.8 per cent of all complaints. Smaller regional service providers and new entrants round out the top 10:

CCTS top 10 telcos

Companies following the top 10 include Public Mobile, MTS Inc., Xplornet Internet Services, Shaw, Primus, Sasktel, Cogeco, and Acananc Inc.

When it comes to what most customers were complaining about, billing issues dominated the top 10 list. The good news is that overall, the number of complaints filed with the CCTS is down by 17 per cent since last year – the first time in the commission’s seven-year history that complaints have been in decline. While complaints about incorrect charges were still number one on the list, this topic of complaint was down by almost 17 per cent when compared against last year.

CCTS top 10 complaints

What’s on the rise is complaints about non-disclosure of terms and misleading information about terms, with an almost 75 per cent increase from customers. In its report, the CCTS states it is surprised to see an increase after issuing a warning to both service providers and consumers in its 2013 report. Service providers must ensure they properly inform customers of all necessary information relating to services, the CCTS says, and customers must be careful to review the terms and conditions of contracts.

“A 74 per cent increase is cause for concern,” the report states. “This issue is becoming an increasingly large proportion of all issues raised by customers.”

The bulk of complaints received by the CCTS is in regards to wireless service providers, accounting for more than three-quarters of all complaints. Internet (16.3 per cent), and home phone (six per cent) were the next two most complained-about lines of business.

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  • Guest

    I’ve been with bell for so long, I have 5 phones from them, I renewed my contract for the 3 phones last jan. I was shocked because my bills went up to 2300. I was so mad, I tried to save because they give me a 30 dollars plan, but ended up to this amount for just 1 month.

  • kamyar

    To all Canadian people; please please please don’t go with bell company or if your with bell already try to complete the contract and leave it never go again with bell. I have a very bad experience from bell what ever it’s mobile Internet or TV once u have it they charge double even triple oh the worst company I have never seen in my life so that’s my opinion if u love your money then think about it if u have lots of money then it’s your choice ……. bye ……

  • Philippe Abran

    You may have been on a month-to-month contract, but Telus was still the provider for your 10-digit number hosting. They have a database where your number is held in a ”lock”, and you need to contact customer support for your current provider before switching to another provider, to get them to ”release” your number. Otherwise, if your number wasnt locked, anyone else who decided to buy a new contract with Telus could take the number you were currently using. Its essentially logistics between the two providers, and they prefer to have the client take the first small step to help them both orchestrate the process.

    If I can put it more simply: Image being in a relay race, but your next team mate doesn’t know you’re coming with the baton, is looking away, and has headphones in. Bad analogy, but how are you supposed to assume your team-mate knows you’re coming and is ready for the pass when he isn’t looking? (In this case, without somone to tap him/her on the shoulder and point that you’re coming)

    • Philippe Abran

      And month-by-month is still a recurring contract. The only difference is that it doesn’t require you to pay an outstanding balance for early-termination when you cancel the service.

    • gisabun

      Actually I was on a contract. Unsure if it is a “month to month” after the contract is over.

  • Bassam

    So bell canada decides hey why don’t we increase our Internet costs even though our clients set up a 2 year plan for 56 bucks. But since bell canada sent out a letter saying hey we will be increasing your payments it’s ok for bell canada to increase their payments. Then speaking with thir customer service loyalty group the help they provide is “sorry you got a letter there is nothing I can do to help you”

    Is this company for real. Horrible customer service don’t even get me started on the connection loss I have experienced and the “help” I got. But on top of their horrible service they just increase their prices and it’s ok for them to do so cause they send you a letter saying they will be increasing their price.

    Well they just lost my business and anyone wanting to go to bell I’d suggest you avoid them. Any time you have an issue Thier “customer service” says sorry we can’t help but what they have no problem doing is making you pay more.

    I’d suggest if you don’t want to pay to much for interest or be lied to about pricing DO NOT USE BELL as you provider.

  • Miss Mari

    I dont recommend BELL provider. Please please if you want to.be away from Highblood, STress. Please stay away from them!!!!

  • Miss Mari

    My body.is.still shaking. Very painful experience!!! I got traumatized. Its terrible. They insist me to pay for something you didnt use. I dont want to die because of highblood. My back neck still heavy, nanginginig katawan ko sa galit. All my body is shaking! My daughter saw me.and she hug me. Terrible pain…. I paid them.I DONT WANT TO DIE WITH THESE KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE. VERY POOR SERVICE….