Commissioner’s Message

Annual Report

August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020

For the first time since 2015-16, this year we are reporting a year-over-year decline in the number of complaints reaching the CCTS.

This year, we saw significant decreases in complaints from customers of some service providers, including Bell (35% fewer complaints) and Cogeco (almost 69% fewer). We are hopeful that service providers are increasingly seeing the value of developing more robust and effective internal complaint-handling processes, and that more customers are seeing their complaints successfully addressed through interaction directly with their provider.

In 2019, we updated our Strategic Plan around three key pillars, and we are undertaking a variety of activities to address them. Among the most important are the service delivery review (referenced in the Chair’s Message), the restructuring of our organization to ensure that we have experienced and talented staff in all roles, and a renewed focus on adding value for our stakeholders. This focus includes the development of additional public-facing materials, such as more case studies, a regular newsletter, videos explaining our processes, and the forthcoming Annotated Guide to the Procedural Code.

Our work this year—like everyone else’s—was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are especially proud of our people and how they responded to the pandemic. We closed our offices on March 16 and were able to quickly equip all our staff to work from home, knowing that we would be expected to continue providing our service to Canadians. And our staff stepped up admirably to allow us to meet our objective. To deal with our growth we had leased additional office space and had just begun construction when the pandemic hit. When we are able to get back to our office – whenever that may be – we will have the space we need to accommodate our growing staff.

Our ongoing efforts to provide accessible customer service that accommodates persons with disabilities included consultations with participants from five accessibility groups in 2019-2020. Our new Accessibility Committee also met regularly to discuss the progress of accessibility efforts at the CCTS and it is currently drafting an Accessibility Plan that will be published on our website.

It’s clear from all these initiatives that although complaint numbers are down, we’re still as busy as ever. And our focus on helping consumers and service providers to cooperatively resolve their disputes resulted in almost 90% of complaints being successfully resolved by the parties following our intervention.

As the pandemic has shown us, we can’t predict the future. We can only adapt. And I appreciate our dedicated staff for how well they’ve adapted to working from home, to new initiatives and ongoing organizational changes. Amid all of this, they have worked tirelessly to ensure that the CCTS continues to provide outstanding dispute resolution services for Canadian consumers and service providers. I truly cannot thank you enough.

Howard Maker
Commissioner & CEO, CCTS