Rogers, Bell most complained-about provider, issues rising across the board: CCTS study

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) accepted over 14,000 complaints about phone, internet, and TV services in Canada in 2022-2023, the CCTS’ annual report, found. This marks a 14 per cent increase from the CCTS’ last yearly report

These complaints included increases in issues about quality of service, roaming charges, and contract disclosure issues.  

The total number of issues is higher than the number of issues accepted because one complaint can raise more than one issue

The Big Three carriers – Bell, Rogers and Telus – accounted for the majority of the complaints.

Top 10 service providers by complaints accepted

The number of complaints against Rogers increased a staggering 44 per cent from the previous year, making it the most complained-about provider and outranking Bell for the first time in CCTS’ history.

Disclosure issues, billing errors, and complaints about promised credits or refunds not being applied are the top issues raised by Rogers’ customers.

“One complaint is one too many and we’re working hard to make sure every interaction we have with millions of Canadians every month is seamless,” said Rogers, in response to CCTS’s findings. “We’re committed to investing in our networks and our customer experience to ensure our dedicated frontline team has the tools to provide the best service possible.”

Rogers customers also raised more concerns about the quality of their telecom services and complete loss of their telecom services. This is possibly due to the July 8 outage that impacted 2.92 million wireline and 10.242 million wireless customers. Complete loss of service complaints increased by 138 per cent from the previous year. 

Bell was the second most complained about provider, accounting for 16 per cent of all accepted complaints, but complaints about the company’s wireless, internet and TV issues all went down, by 19 per cent, 13 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

Telus, which has fared pretty well over the years, saw sizable increases in its number of complaints. 

Although it accounted for 12 per cent of all accepted complaints, behind Bell and Rogers, its wireless issues increased by 48 per cent, internet issues increased by 29 per cent, and TV issues by 21 per cent.

All carriers are bound by the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunication Commission’s  (CRTC) internet code and the wireless code, tasked to protect consumers’ rights. Telus’s code breaches also significantly outdistanced all other service providers this year, with a total of 21 confirmed code breaches. Rogers had four, while Bell had five.

Further, customers continued to raise concerns about the clarity of information provided by service providers in their contracts, promotions, and related documents. 

Complaints around difficulties leaving or switching service providers also increased.

Additionally, complaints about roaming charges doubled for the second consecutive year, whereby customers claimed incorrect charges from their service provider for use of wireless services outside of a defined local coverage. That could also be due to the increase in travel  since the height of the pandemic.

Consumers can file their complaints on CCTS’ online form.

“The CCTS provides telecom customers with the right to have their complaints investigated independently and has the authority to require service providers to fix problems when the provider has not met its obligations,” said Howard Maker, chief executive, CCTS in a release. “We are pleased that the Government of Canada recently reaffirmed the importance of this work, and its desire to strengthen our ability to fulfill this important role.”

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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