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So Many Canadians Complained About Their Phone Company This Year That It Broke Records

We've all had problems with our providers before.
Trending Senior Staff Writer
Canadian Phone Companies Complaints Broke Records This Year

If you've ever had a problem with your phone provider, you're not alone and you're definitely not the only one complaining. Canadian phone companies aren't that great according to customers. So many complaints were filed between 2018 and 2019 that it broke a record.

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) released its annual report that said customers filed a record-breaking number of complaints about telecommunications companies in Canada in 2018 and 2019.

The issues were about a range of things, from TV to the internet to even long distance but the majority were related to wireless phones.

Between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019, the CCTS received 19,287 complaints about Bell, Rogers, Telus, and other telecom companies in Canada.

That's a 35% increase over the same period of time in 2017 and 2018 and an all-time high in the CCTS's 12-year history. 

"It's disappointing to see, issues that customers shouldn't have to deal with. It tells us that there's still room for improvement," said Howard Maker, CCTS Commissioner, to the CBC.

Since you can raise multiple issues in a single complaint, there were actually 47,426 issues that Canadians complained about over the last year.

Billing errors were a top issue with 43.1% followed by contract disputes, which made up 32% of the complaints.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Wireless Code stops companies from changing prices during a cellphone contract but doesn't do the same for TV and internet. 

"The Wireless Code doesn't let you change your wireless pricing for two years," said John Lawford, consumer advocate and executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, to CBC. "It kind of sets the trap for consumers who are expecting the same protections on internet and TV as they have on their wireless phone."

According to the CCTS report back in 2017, the number one issue complained about by Canadian customers was billing and incorrect charges on their bills.

Two years later, billing is still the top issue Canadians are having with their providers.

Bell Canada was at the centre of 30.5% of complaints for this last year with 5,879 reports accepted. After that is Rogers with only 1,833 complaints, 9.5% of the total and then Telus makes up 8% of the total with 1600 complaints.* 

According to the CBC, Bell Canada is the country's largest telecom with 22 million subscribers so the company is bound to have a bit more complaints than a smaller company would.

With complaints rising every year and reaching a record-breaking number this year, it is unclear if Canada's big telecom companies will be making changes to address this issue.

*This article has been updated.

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    Lisa Belmonte
    Trending Senior Staff Writer
    Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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