These two examples summarize the most common grounds for complaints by Canadians last year, according to the most recent report from the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS), which will be released on Monday.
In A Year Marked By The Pandemic, The Commission
Has been busier than ever,” notes do we outset, having received 17,003 complaints between 31 July 2020 and on 1 st August 2021, an increase of 9% compared to the previous year. The overwhelming majority of these complaints, 88%, were resolved to consumer satisfaction. For a considerable portion of these grievances, 73%, it was not even necessary for the federal agency to pursue the proceedings any further, since they were resolved at the pre-investigation stage.
As in previous years, it is wireless services and the Internet that are giving consumers the biggest headaches. The 17,003 complaints resulted in 42,254 issues raised, where cell service was involved 18,466 times, or 44% of the total. The internet comes in second with 13,202 complaints, or 31%. For wireless services, billing tops the list of complaints, with 7,508. On the Internet side, service delivery is most often blamed, with 4,740 mentions.
According to Anais Beaulieu-Laborite, analyst at the Union des consummators, this is the first report actually showing the impact of COVID-19. “Last year, suppliers implemented accommodation measures. It stopped, but the pandemic did not stop. They assured that they would show a certain flexibility, but that is not necessarily what we see on the ground.
Overall, across all services, Canada’s largest telecommunications provider, Bell, continues to lead in the number of complaints, with 3,517, or 20.7% of all complaints accepted. However, this is an improvement of 7.8% for Bell compared to the previous year.
This is not at all the case with Rogers, in second place with 2,361 complaints, but up 32.6% from the previous year. We should also note the deterioration of the situation at Videotron, which ranks sixth among the suppliers most often targeted with 1,074 complaints. However, this is an increase of 57% compared to 2019-2020, the largest among suppliers. It is first of all the problems related to Videotron’s wireless service, specifies the CCTS, which are at issue. But it is also pointed out that the Internet services of the Quebec company have seen an 83% increase in complaints. More specifically, those concerning the quality of internet services have climbed 162%.
We also published the results of a survey of 4,000 consumers who contacted the CCTS. We first learn that 32% of them tried for more than three months to solve the problem directly with their supplier. In 58% of the cases, their complaint had been transferred more than three times to another service.
These data, believes Anais Beaulieu-Laborite, confirm that “suppliers continue to rely on consumer inertia so as not to settle their disputes. In addition, an EKOS poll of 2,061 Canadians shows once again that the general public is very little aware of CCTS: barely 20% have ever heard of it.
“Some examples mentioned in the report show bad faith on the part of the suppliers,” notes the Union des consummators analyst. It’s a bit shocking. This is because it is to their advantage to do nothing: the majority of consumers do nothing and do not know their remedies and their rights.