Big Telecom customer mistreatment is still running rampant, as official report confirms 11,340 complaints in just 12 months
CCTS Annual Report reveals sharp 74% rise in complaints about misleading wireless contracts. Bell and its subsidiaries accounted for over 40% of all telecom complaints.
Anderson continued: “The Big Three are the subject of the vast majority of complaints, and we’ve also seen a huge increase in complaints about their misleading tactics. The best way to get the number of complaints down is to improve choice and make sure every Canadian has an independent alternative to the Big Three.”
The CCTS report reveals that:
- 60.8% of all telecom complaints related to wireless services. (page 10)
- The number of complaints relating to misleading wireless contracts soared by 74% since last year. (page 12)
- There were 762 alleged breaches of the CRTC’s new Wireless Code between December 2013 and July 2014. Bell and its subsidiary Virgin Mobile accounted for 63% of confirmed Wireless Code breaches. (page 17-18)
- Bell (and its subsidiaries Virgin Mobile and Bell Aliant) accounted for 40.8% of all telecom complaints. Rogers and its subsidiary Fido accounted for 28.9%, with Telus and its subsidiary Koodo accounting for 7.3%. (page 25).
- The CCTS resolved 77% of all complaints within 40 days and 89% within 60 days.
OpenMedia.ca is leading a sustained, 70,000-strong campaign for greater choice and lower prices for Canadian wireless customers. The organization recently made a detailed policy submission to decision-makers at the CRTC, urging them to open the networks to prevent the Big Three blocking Canadians from more affordable providers like Wind Mobile and Ting.
OpenMedia has also produced a toolkit for negotiating with Big Telecom customer service departments, and produced a crowd-sourced policy plan based on submissions from mistreated Canadian telecom customers.
Canadians are calling on Industry Minister James Moore to rein in the Big Three and stop them acting as gatekeepers to essential services at https://openmedia.ca/gatekeeper
OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
About OpenMedia’s telecom campaigns
OpenMedia.ca has campaigned for years for action to improve choice and lower prices in Canada’s cell phone market. Early in 2012 OpenMedia.ca launched a campaign decrying the price-gouging poor customer service and lack of choice in the cell phone market at StopTheSqueeze.ca.
OpenMedia.ca then highlighted Canadians’ Cell Phone Horror Stories in a crowdsourced submission to the CRTC, and released a citizen-driven report entitled ‘Time for an Upgrade’ detailing their findings and recommendations. This citizen pressure resulted in a broadly positive new set of customer-friendly rules for wireless companies – national rules that reign in punitive three-year contracts, make it easier to switch to a new affordable provider, and impose caps on data roaming fees.
Recent examples of unfair practices by Canada’s Big Three include:
- Suing the government for passing positive customer protection rules.
- Blocking Canadian wireless provider Ting from being able to offer affordable services in Canada.
- Unleashing a massive misleading PR campaign against greater wireless choice
- Engaging in “unjust discrimination” against independent provider Wind Mobile.
- Bell’s court challenge against new cellphone roaming and tower-sharing rules to improve choice for Canadians.
- Download OpenMedia.ca and CIPPIC's joint submission to the CRTC (PDF)
- CRTC Media Release, July 31: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=872099
- In 2007 the Conservative government made a promise to reserve key spectrum assets for new entrants. Source: Reuters
- The Conservative government’s 2011 platform promised “to increase competition and choice and to lower costs for wireless consumers”. Source: Conservative Party 2011 Platform, page 15
- For an explanation of why your high cell phone bill has nothing to do with Canada's size, check out this article by OpenMedia.ca's Catherine Hart.
- Industry Canada clearly stated that only "new entrants" were eligible for the AWS wireless spectrum set aside in 2008. Industry Canada further stated that “changes made after the application deadline which create an Association with another applicant are not permitted, and any applicant who has formed such an Association will be disqualified from participating in the auction.” Source: Industry Canada
- Canada’s wireless industry is overwhelmingly dominated by Bell, Telus, and Rogers. Source: The Globe and Mail
- Recent independent reports confirm that Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for cell phone service. Source: OECD 2013 Communications Outlook
- Ben Klass: “I am Canadian, a reply to Bell’s Open Letter”
- Background on Spectrum. Source: Public Interest Advocacy Centre