TORONTO — Consumer complaints about TV services to the country's telecom watchdog out-numbered issues with their cellphones, land lines and Internet providers, according to its mid-year report — even though the organization is not yet authorized to deal with TV complaints.
The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) received 4,651 complaints about broadcasting services between Aug. 1, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016.
That's only 2,643 fewer TV services-related complaints than in all of 2014-15, when it received 7,294 such complaints, said commissioner Howard Maker and assistant commissioner Josée Thibault in a statement.
For now, the CCTS can't help resolve consumers' TV service gripes because they fall outside its mandate.
Bell led the way on consumer complaints against telecom, the CCTS found, with Rogers a distant second. Complaints against Rogers are down from 23 per cent of the total a year earlier. (Chart: CCTS)
Since the CCTS can't assist those consumers, it didn't ask for details on the nature of their complaints, according to the statement, and has no data on what aspect of TV services consumers most often complain about.
Starting September 2017, its mandate will be expanded to include cable and satellite services as well, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced earlier in March.
The CCTS received 89 fewer complaints about problems with cellphones, land line and Internet services than TV services, according to the report.
It accepted 4,562 complaints, down roughly 16.5 per cent from the same time frame in 2014-2015.
Nearly 37 per cent originated from Bell customers. During the same six-month period the previous years, Bell accounted for about 36 per cent of all complaints to the CCTS.
Rogers was second, accounting for nearly 10 per cent — down from nearly 23 per cent between those six months in 2014 and 2015.
Misleading contract terms led consumer complaints against telecom, the CCTS says. (Chart: CCTS)
The company still has work to do to reduce customer complaints, said Deepak Khandelwal, the chief customer officer for Rogers Communications, in a statement. But he added it's made headway in overhauling customer experience.
Wind, Telus and Virgin rounded out the Top Five companies with the most complaints registered against them.
The majority of complaints to the CCTS stemmed from accusations that companies did not disclose or gave misleading information about terms of service, and incorrectly charged consumers.
The CCTS also received numerous other complaints for issues outside its mandate, including general operating practices and policies of service providers, customer service, pricing, and telemarketing and unsolicited messages.