A new report by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) once again identifies Bell Canada as the telecommunications services provider with the most customer complaints, but also notes that fewer confirmed breaches of Canada’s Wireless Code took place between last August and January than the same period in 2015.

The report, released Thursday, also found that failure to disclose vital information about services and contracts continues to be the largest source of complaints, representing approximately 10.7 per cent of all issues raised, followed by incorrect charges and intermittent service quality, which represented 9.4 and 8.5 per cent of complaints, respectively.

Top 10 issues raised in complaints. Courtesy CCTS.

In an April 6 statement, CCTS commissioner Howard Maker reminded telecom service providers of the importance they should place on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s Wireless and Television Provider Codes of Conduct, both of which emphasize that service providers must communicate with customers using plain, clear language.

“Understanding what you are getting when you sign up to receive a service or product is fundamental in a consumer transaction,” Maker said in the statement. “That can only happen if service providers ensure they present customers with clear information that sets out their rights and responsibilities.”

Founded in 2007, CCTS is an independent organization dedicated to resolving complaints between customers and telecom services providers. As outlined in its 2017 mid-year report, the organization received 3955 customer complaints between August 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, with 3882 concluded, 89.9 per cent of them to the satisfaction of both the customer and service provider.

Meanwhile, the organization found 52 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code, versus 120 during the same period in 2015, and seven breaches of the Deposit and Disconnection Code, versus 13 in 2015.

For at least the third year in a row, Bell Canada remained the number-one source of complaints, with 1258 registered during the six-month period, despite having less market share than the second-place “winner,” Rogers Communications Inc., which had 535.

Top five service providers by complaints accepted between August 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. Courtesy CCTS.

As for the 52 confirmed breaches, the report found that 16 involved companies did not provide customers with a paper or electronic copy of their contract, or provided a contract that did not conform to the Wireless Codes standards; while 10 involved service providers not giving customers reasonable notice before disconnecting their service; and eight involved data overage charges over $50.

Detailed breakdown of the top five confirmed Wireless Code breaches. Courtesy CCTS.
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