Executive Summary

Highlighted numbers

  • We experienced a 44% increase in complaints accepted.
  • A 68% increase in complaints concluded shows that we have responded promptly to the increasing volume of complaints.
  • “Incorrect charges” and “non-disclosure of terms” continue to be the top 2 problems, together representing 29% of all issues.
  • We recorded a 42% increase in breaches to The Wireless Code. Breaches related to “Failure to give notice before disconnection” increased by 163%. And for the first time, there were no breaches of the Deposit and Disconnection Code.
  • The addition of TV to our mandate led to a 91% reduction in previously out-of-mandate TV issues.
  • Complaints about Cogeco increase from 120 to 790, making it the third most complained-about service provider.
  • Freedom Mobile joins the top 5 most-complained-about list for the first time. It also records the most breaches of The Wireless Code (34% of all breaches).

All comparisons are to Mid-Year Report 2017-18 unless otherwise specified.

About our activities

  • We provided important data about consumer issues in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission’s (CRTC) review of telecom sales practices, and in its proceeding to develop an internet code proceeding.
  • We terminated AllCore Communications’ participation in August 2018 for failing to meet various participation requirements. AllCore later re-joined the CCTS after fulfilling its obligations.

Elderly couple reading bill


Complaints accepted


Complaints concluded


Complaints resolved


Confirmed Wireless Code breaches


Confirmed Television Service Provider Code breach


Confirmed Deposit and Disconnection Code breaches

Operational Statistics

Figure 1: Summary of key statistics

re were 9,831 complaints accepted, with 9,637 being concluded. Out of the concluded complaints, 8,877 were resolved, 753 were closed, 5 Recommendations were accepted and 2 Decisions were issued. 6,902 complaints were resolved at the pre-investigation level, 1,975 complaints were resolved at the investigation level. 247 complaints were closed at the pre-investigation level, 506 complaints were closed at the investigation level.

Complaints by Service Provider

Table 1: Top 5 Participating Services Providers by complaints accepted

All statistics are as at February 1, 2019 and are subject to audit. See Appendix A for complaints accepted for all service providers.

Issues Raised in Complaints

Table 2: Number of issues by service[FOOTNOTE]A single complaint may raise more than one issue for more than one service.[/FOOTNOTE]

* TV services were introduced into the CCTS mandate in September 2017. This is the first time TV issues are presented in our Mid-Year Report, for the full 6-month reporting period.


Table 3: Top 10 issues raised in complaints[FOOTNOTE]Complaints can raise more than one issue. The complaints concluded between August 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 raised 22,175 issues.[/FOOTNOTE]


Customers often raise issues that fall outside of the CCTS’ mandate. This table identifies the top 5 issues.

Table 4: Top 5 out-of-mandate issues


Code of Conduct Reporting

The CCTS does not investigate every alleged breach of a Code. Complaints that are resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the customer and service provider do not receive additional analysis to determine whether a breach of the Code has occurred. These are described as “not requiring investigation” in the figures in this section.

The CCTS publishes an Annotated Guide to the Wireless Code and an Annotated Guide to the Deposit & Disconnection Code.


Alleged breach: When a customer claims that the service provider failed to perform an obligation under The Wireless Code (“TWC”), the Deposit and Disconnection Code (“D&D”) or the Television Service Provider Code (“TVSP Code”), or when a CCTS staff member identifies a potential TWC/D&D/TVSP Code breach based on the details of a complaint. Each breach references an individual section of the Code. Thus, more than one alleged breach may be recorded in a complaint.

Confirmed breach: When the CCTS can confirm, based on its investigation, that a provision of TWC/D&D/TVSP Code has been breached.

No breach: When we have investigated an alleged breach and concluded that the service provider didn’t breach TWC/D&D/TVSP Code.

The Wireless Code

Figure 2: Summary of Wireless Code breaches

There were 944 alleged breaches. 787 did not require investigation. 157 breaches were investigated. 61 were confirmed as breaches and 96 were verified as not a breach.

Table 5: Top Wireless Code breaches by section[FOOTNOTE]See the CRTC’s Wireless Code for full text of appropriate sections.[/FOOTNOTE]

See Appendix B for a breakdown of the confirmed Wireless Code breaches by section.

Television Service Provider Code

Figure 3: Television Service Provider Code breaches[1]

There were 417 alleged breaches. 411 did not require investigation. 6 breaches were investigated. 1 was confirmed as a breach and 5 were verified as not a breach.

The confirmed breach to the Television Service Provider Code was for “Section XI: Changes to programming options – 30-day notice not provided – Changes to packaging of channels”.

Deposit and Disconnection Code

Figure 4: Summary of D&D Code breaches[2]

There were 43 alleged breaches. 37 did not require investigation. 6 breaches were investigated. 0 were confirmed as breaches and 6 were verified as not a breach.

Appendix A – Complaints by Service Provider

August 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

374 service providers and brands participated in the CCTS during this reporting period (including 15 service providers that joined during this period). The list includes service providers about which we accepted at least one complaint during the reporting period.

Appendix B – Confirmed Wireless Code Breaches by Section

August 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

Total percentage rounded


  1. See the CRTC’s Television Service Provider Code for full text of appropriate sections.
  2. See the CRTC’s Deposit and Disconnection Code for full text of appropriate sections.