Media Release

Verify, don’t trust, your cellphone company

CCTS Report Documents increasing wireless complaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OTTAWA – January 16, 2024 – Consumers should verify, not trust, their cellphone company, said the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today, reacting to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) Annual Report 2022-23, which showed increased problems with wireless services, including monthly billing and roaming disputes, and numerous complaints of total loss of service.

“Canadian consumers must now protect themselves against their wireless provider,” said John Lawford, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel. “They should verify every service charge, clarify every detail of roaming and plan for total service failure, not just trust the companies,” he added.

PIAC noted that the Report revealed that wireless service generated well over half of all complaint issues, well ahead of home Internet service at about a quarter of issues.  The leading complaint issue (each complaint may include more than one issue) for wireless service continues to be monthly billing issues with incorrect charges for monthly pricing plans, followed by disputes about the charges not aligning with contracts. Roaming billing disputes effectively doubled and complaints of outages as well.

“Both of the highest complaint issue categories are the same as other years and driven by aggressive or unclear sales practices as well as increasing complexity of contracts and financing of cellphones,” explained Lawford. “Companies must do more to explain, in advance, the material costs of each cellphone plan and take proactive steps to simplify billing and contracts and action credits to consumers.”

The Report also noted continuing problems with consumers not receiving a credit or refund promised. PIAC has called for years for the CCTS to separately record such complaints as a “failure to action” a complaint resolution.

For more information, please contact:

John Lawford

Executive Director and General Counsel

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

285 McLeod Street, Suite 200

Ottawa, ON K2P 1A1

(613) 562-4002 x125

(613) 447-8125 (cell)

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