For the third year in a row the number of complaints filed by Canadian telecom customers has dropped, according to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).

In its 2015 – 2016 report, Guidance in a Sea of Change, the CCTS saw an 18 per cent decrease in complaints from Canadian customers, marking the third consecutive year those complaints have dropped.

Last year’s “winner” among the three telecoms, Bell Canada, was once again on top this year, though it saw overall complaints fall by 18.3 per cent. Its nearest competitor, Rogers Communications Inc., fell even further, receiving 52.5 per cent fewer complaints compared to last year.

“With complaints on the decline for the third year in a row, I think it’s safe to say we’re witnessing a trend,” CCTS Commissioner and CEO Howard Maker said in a statement. “Largely as a result of the publicity generated by CCTS publicly reporting the number of complaints received from customers of each service provider, the companies have become motivated to reduce the number of complaints that CCTS receives.”

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Billing was this year’s leading complaint, followed by contract disputes. Both categories made up nearly three quarters of total complaints.

The majority of billing complaints come from wireless contracts. However, this was the second year in a row to see a decrease in the proportion of complaints related to wireless services.

“[Our annual reports] appears to have resulted in many service providers making concerted efforts to change how they deal with their customer complaints, and to make concerted efforts to resolve more of them ‘in-house’,” Maker said. “Although there remains lots of room for improvement, it is good news for customers when they don’t have to approach the industry ombudsman to get their problems sorted out.”

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Despite remaining the leading source of those problems, Bell actually has only the third-largest subscriber base among the big three Canadian service providers, with 28 per cent of all wireless customers in Canada, according to the CRTC. (Rogers and Telus had 33 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.)

Overall, Bell received 2,940 complaints last year, representing 35.9 per cent of the total, while the gripes lodged against Rogers and Telus made up 10.5 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

To read the full report, check out the CCTS website.

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  • James Shufelt

    Is it maybe possible that Bell and Rogers received fewer complaints than usual because less people are using their services then before?