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Huge increase in consumer complaints requires CRTC to investigate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA – Consumer complaints to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) increased by a whopping 73% compared to the same period last year – an increase that must be investigated and fixed, said the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today.

“Canadian consumers are sending a clear message that they are being poorly treated by, and are suffering from misleading sales practices of, Internet, wireless, home phone and subscription TV services,” said John Lawford, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel. “Such a dramatic increase must be investigated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission,” he added.

PIAC also notes that the CCTS Report revealed that the leading complaint issue (each complaint may include more than one issue), at nearly a third of all complaint issues, was “Non-disclosure of terms/Misleading information about terms.” The second most frequent complaint issue was “Incorrect charge”.

“Both of the highest complaint issue categories likely are largely driven by sales practices and other promises made to consumers that consumers do not feel were lived up to,” explained Lawford. “Part of the increase is consumers hearing about poor sales practices who in turn complain; however, the base of this problem is likely those practices themselves and CRTC should no longer duck its responsibility to launch an inquiry into how Canadians are sold their communications services.”

The Report also noted continuing problems with Canadians’ experience with quality of communications services, in particular their Internet services, as well as disconnections, cancellation fees, credit reporting, service outages and contract changes.

For more information, please contact:

John Lawford

Executive Director and General Counsel

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204

Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7

(613) 562-4002 x25

(613) 447-8125 (cell)

jlawford@piac.ca

http://www.piac.ca

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