Working with Service Providers

Annual Report

August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020

This section presents the results for those service providers that have been the subject of the greatest number of complaints and also discusses our Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program.

Top 25 Participating Service Providers

Table 8.1: Top 25 PSPs by complaints accepted

* Percentage of all resolved complaints vs. all concluded (89% overall)
† Percentage of all escalated complaints vs. all concluded (27% overall)
‡ Percentage of escalations due to Section 6.6 of Procedural Code (5.7% overall)

 

There are few changes to the Top 25 PSP list from last year. The Top 10 are discussed in more detail later in the Top 10 PSPs profiles.

In 2017-18 we reported a very high increase in complaints against Cogeco, most of these about internet service delivery issues. Last year, they had a 90% increase in complaints for all types of issues. In 2019-20, complaints against Cogeco decreased significantly, by 68.9%.

Cogeco also shows a modest improvement in the number of disclosure issues. Of the service providers in the preceding table, Xplornet, Bell Aliant, Public Mobile, Fizz and Acanac also showed modest decreases in the number of times this issue was raised by customers. By contrast, Comwave, Lucky Mobile, Distributel and ACN Canada all experienced increases in this issue over last year.

Comwave had a significant increase in complaints for all types of service and across all types of issues. Shaw Direct also had a large increase in complaints, with issues mainly driven by billing (98% increase), contract disputes (108% increase) and service delivery issues (124% increase).

Top 10 Participating Service Providers profiles

In this section, we identify areas of good performance as well as areas of improvement for the top 10 PSPs.

Bell

Wireless Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • Bell complaints decreased by 35.1% compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints. Bell accounts for 24.4% of all accepted complaints, down from 30.5% last year: a significant decline.
  • Wireless issues are proportionately lower compared to the overall outlook. Bell accounts for 36% of wireless issues compared to 44% for all service providers.
  • Issues related to TV and local phone are disproportionately high for Bell. TV issues account for 14% of issues for all service providers but for 18% of Bell issues. Local phone issues account for 13% of issues for all service providers but for 18% of Bell issues.
  • Bell’s proportion of internet issues is marginally higher than the overall proportion. Internet issues account for 27% of issues for all service providers but for 28% of Bell issues.
  • For all services, Bell complaints reveal a disproportionately high number of issues involving incorrect charges and lack of disclosure of important information compared to its overall number of issues for each service.
  • Regular price increase of monthly price plans is also raised disproportionately by Bell customers. Overall, this issue is down by 3%; however, this issue is up 13% for Bell.
  • Bell had 27 confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code, down from 46 last year—a significant decrease of 41% and representing 14.7% of all Wireless Code confirmed breaches (184).

Statistics

3,815 accepted complaints
35.1% decrease in accepted complaints 24.4% of all accepted complaints
3,716 resolved complaints
2,597 resolved at pre-investigation 1,119 resolved at investigation 87.9% resolution rate
35 Code breaches
27 Wireless Code breaches 1 Internet Code breach 5 TVSP Code breaches 2 D&D Code breaches

Rogers

Wireless Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • Rogers’ complaints decreased by 2.8% compared to an overall decrease of 19% in complaints.
  • Rogers accounts for 11.4% of all accepted complaints, up from 9.5% last year.
  • The number of Rogers’ complaints that needed to be escalated has increased significantly, from 22% last year to 40% this year.
  • Rogers’ internet issues are up by 44%, local phone issues are up by 40%, TV issues are up by 26%, and wireless issues are up by 12%.
  • Issues related to wireless services are disproportionately high, accounting for 51% of all Rogers’ issues compared to 44% for all service providers.
  • Internet and local phone issues are proportionately lower than the overall proportion for all service providers. Rogers’ internet and local phone issues are 24% and 10%, respectively, while these issues are 27% and 13%, respectively, for all service providers.
  • The proportion of Rogers’ TV issues is marginally higher than that of all service providers, at 15% for Rogers compared to 14% for all service providers.
  • There are increases in all types of issues: a 71% increase in credit management issues, a 62% increase in service delivery issues, a 14% increase in contract disputes and an 11% increase in billing issues.
  • Rogers’ confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code decreased from 31 last year to 17 this year (a significant decrease of 45%), with most of its breaches in Section I (disconnection): 7 breaches this year compared to 3 last year).

Statistics

1,781 accepted complaints
2.8% decrease in accepted complaints 11.4% of all accepted complaints
1,524 resolved complaints
1,062 resolved at pre-investigation 462 resolved at investigation 86.2% resolution rate
18 Code breaches
17 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 1 TVSP Code breach 0 D&D Code breaches

TELUS

Wireless Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • TELUS complaints decreased by 27.6% compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints. TELUS accounts for 7.4% of all accepted complaints, down from 8.3% last year.
  • Issues about wireless service account for 52% compared to 44% of issues for all service providers.
  • Internet, local phone and TV issues are proportionately lower compared to the overall outlook for all service providers.
  • While issues for all other services are down from last year, TELUS’ internet access service issues are up 23% from last year.
  • Service delivery issues across all types of service increased by 22%. Also, the proportion of service delivery issues increased from 17% last year to 24% this year.
  • Intermittent/inadequate quality of service is the most-raised service delivery issue, up by 66% from last year.
  • TELUS’ confirmed Wireless Code breaches fell by more than half, from 31 last year to 15 this year (a 45% decrease). There were 7 confirmed breaches of Section B (contracts and related documents), down from 28 last year, and also 7 confirmed breaches of Section I (disconnection), which had just 1 breach last year.

Statistics

1,166 accepted complaints
27.6% decrease in accepted complaints 7.4% of all accepted complaints
1,043 resolved complaints
839 resolved at pre-investigation 204 resolved at investigation 88.6% resolution rate
16 Code breaches
15 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 1 TVSP Code breach 0 D&D Code breaches

Fido

Wireless Internet

Highlights

  • While overall complaints decreased by 19%, Fido complaints increased by 22.5%. Fido accounts for 7.2% of all accepted complaints, up from 4.7% last year.
  • Overall wireless issues are down by 2% but Fido’s wireless issues are up by 25%.
  • Billing is the most complained-about issue for Fido customers. Overall, billing issues account for 44% of issues raised by all wireless customers; however, billing issues account for 48% of issues raised by Fido’s wireless customers.
  • Fido has an 83% increase in credit management issues, a 37% increase in service delivery issues, a 17% increase in contract disputes and a 34% increase in billing issues.
  • Relating to its increased billing issues, incorrect charge issues and credit/refund not received issues increased by 43% and 58%, respectively.
  • Relating to increased credit management issues, credit reporting issues increased by 94%.
  • Confirmed Wireless Code breaches increased slightly, with about 38% being related to issues with the 14-day disconnection notice requirements in Section I (disconnections): this is double the percentage for all service providers (19%).

Statistics

1,123 accepted complaints
22.5% increase in accepted complaints 7.2% of all accepted complaints
949 resolved complaints
762 resolved at pre-investigation 187 resolved at investigation 87.3% resolution rate
13 Code breaches
13 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Freedom Mobile

Wireless

Highlights

  • Freedom Mobile complaints decreased by 7.1% compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints. Freedom accounts for 6.8% of all accepted complaints, up from 6% last year.
  • The number of complaints that needed to be escalated decreased by 31%. Last year 22% of Freedom Mobile’s complaints were escalated whereas this year only 15% were escalated.
  • Billing issues are proportionately lower than for all service providers: 35% for Freedom Mobile compared to 41% for all service providers.
  • Service delivery issues are disproportionately higher for Freedom Mobile’s customers: 29% compared to 24% for all service providers.
  • Contract dispute and credit management issues have about the same proportional distribution as for all service providers.
  • All of the following issues increased this year: legitimacy of early termination fee (ETF) (up by 21%); disclosure issues (up by 16%); breach of contract (up by 14%); and no consent provided (up by 14%).
  • Confirmed Wireless Code breaches decreased by over 95%, from 25 last year to just 1 this year.

Statistics

1,066 accepted complaints
7.1% decrease in accepted complaints 6.8% of all accepted complaints
1,002 resolved complaints
868 resolved at pre-investigation 134 resolved at investigation 95.3% resolution rate
1 Code breach
1 Wireless Code breach 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Virgin Mobile

Wireless Internet Phone

Highlights

  • Virgin Mobile complaints decreased by 17.3% compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints. Virgin Mobile complaints account for 6.6% of all accepted complaints, almost unchanged from 6.5% last year.
  • Although wireless service issues are down by 12% this year, internet service issues are up by 53%.
  • While overall wireless billing issues for all service providers are down by 4%, Virgin Mobile’s wireless billing issues are down by 10%. The situation is similar for wireless contract dispute issues, which are down by 8% for all service providers but down by 23% for Virgin Mobile. Wireless service delivery issues are up by 10% overall but for Virgin Mobile these issues are down by 5%.
  • Wireless credit management issues increased more for Virgin Mobile than for all service providers: a 47% increase for Virgin Mobile compared to a 22% increase for all service providers.
  • Overall internet issues relating to incorrect charge are down by 23%; however, internet incorrect charge issues for Virgin Mobile are up by 44%. Also, credit/refund not received issues are up 6% for all service providers’ wireless customers but are double that percentage—up 12%—for Virgin Mobile’s wireless service customers. Credit reporting-related issues are up by 24% for all service providers’ wireless customers but are up by 88% for Virgin Mobile’s wireless customers: more than triple the overall increase.
  • Virgin Mobile’s confirmed Wireless Code breaches fell by half, from 8 last year to 4 this year.

Statistics

1,036 accepted complaints
17.3% decrease in accepted complaints 6.6% of all accepted complaints
938 resolved complaints
700 resolved at pre-investigation 238 resolved at investigation 90.5% resolution rate
5 Code breaches
4 Wireless Code breaches 1 Internet Code breach 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Shaw

Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • Compared to an overall decrease of 19% in complaints, Shaw complaints increased by 17%. Shaw complaints account for almost 5% of all accepted complaints, up from 3.4% last year.
  • Shaw’s internet access service issues increased by 22% compared to an overall decline in these issues of 2%.
  • Although Shaw accounts for 6% of contract dispute issues, it accounts for a disproportionate percentage of Legitimacy of early termination fee (ETF) issues (14%).
  • Shaw accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of unable-to-cancel issues: 14%, up from 3% last year.

Statistics

771 accepted complaints
17.0% increase in accepted complaints 4.9% of all accepted complaints
684 resolved complaints
615 resolved at pre-investigation 69 resolved at investigation 90.7% resolution rate
0 Code breaches
0 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Koodo

Wireless

Highlights

  • Koodo complaints decreased by 9% this year compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints. Koodo accounts for 4.4% of all accepted complaints, up from 3.9% last year.
  • While Koodo accounts for about 3% of overall issues raised, it accounts for a disproportionate percentage of credit management issues (8%) and credit reporting issues (8%).
  • Koodo had no breaches of the Wireless Code in the last two years but had the most breaches this year, with 101 breaches—50% of all confirmed breaches and more than three times the number of breaches by any other service provider. Of these breaches, 48.5% related to Section B (contracts and related documents) and 43.6% related to Section C (critical information summary).

Statistics

687 accepted complaints
9.0% decrease in accepted complaints 4.4% of all accepted complaints
629 resolved complaints
554 resolved at pre-investigation 75 resolved at investigation 89.0% resolution rate
101 Code breaches
101 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Videotron

Wireless Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • Compared to a 19% overall decrease in complaints, Videotron’s complaints decreased by 0.9%. Videotron complaints account for 4.4% of all accepted complaints, up from 3.6% last year.
  • Videotron’s complaints reveal a disproportionately high number of issues involving internet, TV and local phone. Internet issues account for 31% of all Videotron issues compared to 27% for all service providers; TV issues account for 23% compared to 14% for all service providers; and local phone issues account for 15% compared to 13% for all service providers.
  • Wireless issues are proportionately lower than for all service providers: 30% for Videotron compared to 44% for all service providers.
  • While Videotron accounts for 6% of all billing issues, it accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of credit/refund not received issues (10%). There was also a 51% increase in the number of times this issue was raised by its customers compared to last year.
  • Disclosure issues increased by 54% compared to a 10% increase of the same issue for all service providers.
  • Videotron had four confirmed breaches of the Wireless Code. Although this is the same number as last year, all of last year’s confirmed breaches were related to Section E (bill management) while all of this year’s confirmed breaches were related to Section I (disconnection).

Statistics

684 accepted complaints
0.9% decrease in accepted complaints 4.4% of all accepted complaints
619 resolved complaints
546 resolved at pre-investigation 73 resolved at investigation 93.1% resolution rate
4 Code breaches
4 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 0 D&D Code breaches

Comwave

Internet Phone TV

Highlights

  • Although overall complaints decreased by 19%, Comwave’s complaints increased by 176.8%. Comwave accounts for 2.5% of all accepted complaints, up significantly from 0.7% last year.
  • Comwave had a 127% increase in internet service access-related issues and a 133% increase in issues about local phone service.
  • The increase in Comwave’s issues is to almost all issue types, with the top five being:
    • Legitimacy of early termination fee (ETF): 82, a 100% increase
    • Amount of ETF: 64, a 400% increase
    • Disclosure issues: 58, a 113% increase
    • Equipment charges: 43, a 537% increase
    • Credit/refund not received: 37, a 231% increase)
  • Compared to no confirmed breaches of the D&D Code last year, Comwave had three confirmed breaches this year. These breaches are related to Section 3.2 Notice at least 14 days prior (2 confirmed breaches) and Section 3.3 Advise customer 24 hours prior (1 confirmed breach).

Statistics

393 accepted complaints
176.8% increase in accepted complaints 2.5% of all accepted complaints
235 resolved complaints
204 resolved at pre-investigation 31 resolved at investigation 90% resolution rate
3 Code breaches
0 Wireless Code breaches 0 Internet Code breaches 0 TVSP Code breaches 3 D&D Code breaches

Monitoring service provider compliance

There are two categories of service provider requirements: the CRTC requirement to participate in the CCTS and the CCTS requirements after a provider becomes a Participating Service Provider (PSP).

To ensure the CCTS can provide free and effective service to customers when they need it, the CRTC requires companies that provide retail telecom services in Canada as well as licensed TV service providers to participate in the CCTS. Some service providers (typically small providers or new entrants to the business) do not currently participate. Their obligation to join is triggered when one of their customers files a complaint with the CCTS.

We do everything in our power to get these service providers to join, and we’re generally successful. This year it took us, on average, 34 days to sign up a new provider from the time they were informed of their requirement to participate.

In 2019-20 we signed up 35 new service providers. However, some providers refuse to join the CCTS. If we’re unable to persuade them to follow the rules and become a PSP, we refer the matter to the CRTC for further action. We also publicize the identities of providers failing to join the CCTS when required on our Non-compliant providers web page.

After a provider has become a PSP, it is required to adhere to the CCTS obligations outlined in the Participation Agreement.

In 2018 the CCTS began to monitor and audit PSPs to determine if they were:

In May of 2019, we issued the first Compliance Monitoring Report, which explains the preceding CCTS compliance requirements in detail and provides the 2018 results of the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program.

The most recent Compliance Monitoring Report is available on our website.