Rogers president and CEO Guy Laurence demonstrates the company's new real-time data control service for reporters on Oct. 6.

Published: October 7th, 2016

Rogers Communications Inc. CEO Guy Laurence can empathize with the customers who submitted the complaints cited by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) in its recent critique of Canada’s Wireless Code of Conduct.

However, he doesn’t believe that updating the Code to reflect modern wireless standards, which CCTS noted the country’s carriers were barely meeting, is the answer.

“It shouldn’t keep up, it should be laid to rest,” Laurence said of the code. “And it will only be laid to rest when all of the players in the market provide as good a service as (Rogers).”

The topic rose during an Oct. 6 press conference announcing Rogers’ new real-time data control service, which allows customers to modify their data usage in real time – a feature that, one reporter suggested, should be considered for the Wireless Code.

“If we did that then our competitors get the benefit,” Laurence said with a laugh. “I don’t think the regulations should ever need to get involved in this, period.”

“It’s not because I don’t like the regulations,” he continued. “It’s just because I believe it’s the responsibility of companies like ourselves to take anxiety away from customers so that the regulator is never prompted to get involved.”

Laurence went on to say that he did not believe there should have been a Wireless Code of Conduct in the first place, because businesses like his own should provide good enough customer service so that it’s never a problem.

Introducing regulations, he said, stifles innovation, because it encourages companies to provide service that meets the barest minimum standards.

“If you’re a lazy operator what you do is you say, ‘okay, we’ve got the Wireless Code of Conduct, I’ll only do the minimum that tells me to,’ so that stifles innovation,” he said.

“My approach is, we never should have gotten to the point where we needed it in the first place, so I’m going to ignore the Wireless Code of Conduct,” he continued. “I’m going to focus on going way beyond – way beyond – what they’ve got as minimum requirements.”

During his presentation Laurence told the story of how he received his work visa three years ago, when he first arrived in Canada from England.

The customs officer paused in surprise after being told what Laurence’s job would be, then said, “Welcome to Canada. Your service sucks.”

These days, Laurence noted, he receives fewer comments at the border, and with yesterday’s introduction of Rogers’ new service, hopes to receive even less.

Rogers received 437 accepted complaints, or 9.6 per cent of the total, in CCTS’s most recent complaints report, which covered complaints registered between Aug. 1, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016 – enough for second place among Canada’s carriers.

The “winner,” Bell, received 1677.

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