Media Release
CCTS Annual Report Shows Need for Internet Code and Sales Practices Review
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  November 28, 2017
OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today noted evidence in the 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) which indicates that home internet is inadequately regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). PIAC also found evidence in the CCTS Annual Report that indicates that sales practices of communications service providers of wireless telephone, wireline telephone, internet and subscription television services are aggressive and lead to excessive consumer complaints, and likewise should be inquired into by the CRTC.
“It is clear from the continuing increases in Internet complaints that the CRTC should create an “Internet Service Code” to regulate internet service providers,” noted John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “Internet service looks like wireless prior to the Wireless Code: many complaints about changing contract terms, overcharging and early cancellation fees,” Lawford continued.
Complaints regarding home Internet services jumped 38% to over 5,700 complaints. The CCTS noted that this is the seventh straight year that home Internet services complaints have risen.  Wireless complaints grew slightly, by 3%.
PIAC also singled out CCTS complaints about “non-disclosure of terms/misleading information about terms,” where consumers raised concerns about the nondisclosure of important information, or having been provided with misleading information, over 2,000 times this year, up 7% compared to last year.
“People get misled during negotiations on the phone or online with a communications salesperson,” said Lawford, “Recent news stories have highlighted this problem and here’s the proof. We call on the CRTC to inquire into sales practices across all telecom and television services, as this level of complaints about disinformation is unacceptable and unfair to consumers.”
Finally PIAC noted the delinquency of service providers in mentioning the services of the CCTS to their customers. The Annual Report shows: 92% of complainants to the CCTS were never informed of the CCTS by their service provider; 87% had not seen a notice on their bill and 89% had not seen any mention of the service provider’s website. There was no improvement over last year.
For more information please contact:
John Lawford
Executive Director
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
(613) 562-4002 x25
(613) 447-8125 (cell)