Canada Competition Bureau

Top Complaints in Canada Stay the Same: Billing Errors and Contract Disputes – Bell Tops List

November 4, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Some things never change can be a good thing – your never-ending love for one another, a good old-fashion family Thanksgiving, your continued good health – but more often than not, it has to do with something bad – and such is the case with Canada’s Annual Report by the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS).  According to their annual study, the overall complaints have dropped, however, the top complaints continue to remain the same – billing errors and disputes about contracts.

Ever since the CCTS was founded back in 2007, with a mandate to resolve telecommunications problems in Canada, each year the wireless billing errors have topped the list.  Over the past year, there were 11,340 complaints from customers, which is a 17-percent decrease over the previous year when there were 13,692.  The CCTS also reported that 87-percent of the complaints were successfully resolved and 77-percent were handled in as little as 40 days.  From the chart in the gallery below, you can see that complaints were on a steady rise when they peaked during the 2012-2013 reporting period – this year’s report marks the first downward trend.

Wireless services tops the list with 10,167 complaints, followed by Internet access at 3,315, Local telephone service garnered 2,762 complaints and Long distance was at 459 complaints.  Of all the complaints, Billing Errors were 7,562 of the complaints filed, followed by Contract Disputes with 4,871 complaints, Service Delivery was high with 3,636 complaints and Credit Management was last at 648 complaints.

Following the wireless services with their 10,167 complaints – Bell had 3,651 (32.20-percent), Rogers had 2,379 (20.98), Fido had 905 (7.98), Virgin Mobile had 815 (5.76), TELUS had 653 (5.76), and WIND Mobile had 510 (4.50)…these are the top offenders, with the entire list in the gallery.

CCTS really focused this past year on the Wireless Code, which went into effect on December 2, 2013, finally ending three-year contracts.  They identified 762 “alleged breaches” and felt it was warranted to investigate 51 of those and they discovered 30 “confirmed breaches” of the Wireless Code.  These breaches varied from critical information was left out of the contract, the terms and conditions were not followed, early cancellation fees were billed, etc.

Commissioner Howard Maker said, “Many of our participating service providers are making efforts to do better – in the way they provide their services to their customers and the way they work with customers when things go wrong.  Many customers felt that they had not received all the necessary information regarding the price and services included in their plan and which services would incur additional fees.  Properly informing customers of the necessary information relating to their services needs to become a top priority for the industry.  That being said, customers still need to be vigilant about reviewing the terms and conditions of their agreements.”

Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know how your past year on Canada’s wireless network went – were you please or did you have complaints and how were they handle…as always, we would love to hear from you.

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