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CRTC Finally Investigating Telecom Sales Practices

Consumers have two more weeks to comment and “change the deal” for the better

OTTAWA, August 20, 2018 – After over a year of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) asking for it and the intervention of the Federal Cabinet, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) finally is pursuing a public inquiry into reported inappropriate, aggressive and potentially misleading sales of telecommunications and related services.

John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, noted that the CRTC released a “Notice of consultation – Report regarding the retail sales practices of Canada’s large telecommunications carriers” over the summer but that Canadians still have 2 weeks to comment and to ask to attend the hearing to give evidence: “The CRTC has asked Canadian consumers and current and former telecom company employees to relate their stories of sales practices of Canada’s major telecommunications and broadcasting companies. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the buyer-beware culture of internet, phone and TV sales in Canada.”

The CRTC Notice asks for consumer experiences with telecom sales (including bundled TV service) at the door, on the phone or online. The CRTC in particular wants to hear from “vulnerable” Canadians who, by virtue of age, language barrier, disability or other circumstance are more likely than others to be confused, bullied or misled during sales.

“We hope that a public airing of grievances will give the CRTC enough information to understand the scope and scale of this problem and give it the regulatory attention it deserves,” further noted Lawford. “We hope that the Report to the government will result in clear “rules of the road” for sales,” he added, “but above all, this inquiry and report is a chance to change the culture of, and rebuild public trust in, this industry.

To assist consumers and current and former employees, PIAC has released two “how-to” documents below.

CRTC Telecommunications Sales Practices Review and Report – What Consumers Need to Know [submission date corrected]

CRTC Telecommunications Sales Practices Review and Report – What Telecommunications Company Employees Need to Know

See also the general links to the proceeding.

 

To read the CRTC’s full Notice of Consultation:

 

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2018/2018-246.htm

 

 

 

To submit your comments:

 

https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/CommentForm/Default-Defaut.aspx?lang=e&EN=2018-246&ET=N&S=O&PA=a&PT=nc&PST=a&FN

 

 

To contact the CRTC:

 

 

 

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/contact/

 

 

To contact PIAC:

 

https://www.piac.ca/

 

 

For more information please contact:
John Lawford
Executive Director & General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ×25
lawford@piac.ca
www.piac.ca

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