Most complaints to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services in 2017-18 were filed against Bell Canada. (Galit Rodan/The Canadian Press/file)

Telecom and TV complaints soar

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Canadian telecom and television customers complaints increased 57 per cent in 2017-18 over the previous year. A private-sector body mandated to resolve disputes between providers and customers said there were 14,272 complaints from customers who could not get satisfaction by just dealing with their providers.

In it’s annual report, the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services said billing and contract disputes were the two biggest issues raised by consumers.

Billing, contract disputes cited

The provider with the biggest number of complaints was Bell Canada with 33 per cent of the total. That did not include complaints against its smaller affiliates.

Rogers Communications was next with 10 per cent of total complaints and Telus only had 6.6 per cent.

Representative of the mobile phone sector were called to a hearing into misleading sales tactics by the federal regulator, the CRTC. (CBC/Oct. 25, 2018)

Further complaints against telecoms reported

The public broadcaster, CBC, has reported on aggressive and misleading sales tactics by Canadian telecoms, and the federal regulator, the CRTC, held a public inquiry into the problem.

At the same time, a website which compares telecoms found that Canadian wireless users rack up some of the lowest data usage in the world and the telecoms make some of the most money.

Lack of competitiveness cited 

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist commented on the comparison in a blog saying “it is difficult to overstate how much the lack of wireless competitiveness is holding back the Canadian market.” He invited the government to recognize “that longstanding failed Canadian wireless policies must change.”

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