Statistical Reports

Annual Report

August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

Contact Centre activities

Our Contact Centre received almost 115,000 communications by telephone, in writing and by online chat, down from over 122,000 last year.

Table 10.1: Communications received
Type of communication 2020-21 YoY change
Written correspondence 41,085 -2%
Phone calls answered 69,759 -8%
Chat sessions answered 4,091 4%

 

Phone calls continue to be the most-used type of communication, followed by written correspondence (which includes use of our online interactive questionnaire) and chat sessions. Phone calls and written correspondence decreased this year but chat sessions increased by 4%.

Out-of-mandate issues

The following tables show the number of issues raised by customers that the CCTS could not accept in 2020-21 as they are out of the scope of CCTS’ mandate. The CCTS’ mandate is set by the CRTC, and the CRTC periodically reviews whether the CCTS’ mandate ought to be expanded. The scope of complaints that the CCTS is authorized to receive and examples of services and subjects that fall outside the CCTS’ scope are set out in our Procedural Code.

Table 10.2: Procedural Code Section 3 and Other
Procedural Code Section 3 and Other Number
Section 3.1(a)(i) Internet applications/content 446
Section 3.1(a)(ii) Emergency services 104
Section 3.1(a)(iii) Payphones 5
Section 3.1(a)(iv) Yellow pages/business directories 11
Section 3.1(a)(v) Telemarketing/unsolicited messages 484
Section 3.1(a)(vi) 900/976 calls 26
Section 3.1(b)(i) Digital Media Broadcast Undertaking (DMBU) services 95
Section 3.1(b)(ii) Interactive TVSP services and applications 10
Section 3.1(b)(iii) Broadcasting content 453
Section 3.1(b)(iv) Journalistic ethics 45
Section 3.1(b)(v) TV accessibility issues, e.g., closed captioning and described video 67
Section 3.1(b)(vi) Simultaneous substitution 36
Section 3.1(c)(i) Customer-owned equipment 188
Section 3.1(c)(ii) Inside wiring 42
Section 3.1(c)(iii) Security services 201
Section 3.1(c)(iv) Networking services 497
Section 3.1(c)(v) Pricing 1,242
Section 3.1(c)(vi) Rights of way 295
Section 3.1(c)(vii) Plant/poles/towers 1,221
Section 3.1(c)(viii) False/misleading advertising 466
Section 3.1(c)(ix) Privacy issues 1,044
Other – Aggressive tactics 106
Other – Broadcasting (radio) 39
Other – Broadcasting (television – small business) 56
Other – Broadcasting (television – exempt independent TVSP) 216
Other – Consumer – clarity of offers and promotions (TVSP Code) 99
Other – Not related to service providers (phone/internet scams) 648
Other – Regulated services 42
Other – Spam 55
Other – Hybrid Video on Demand Services 5
Total 8,244

 

The total number of issues reported in this section decreased from 8,866 last year to 8,244 this year.

Complaints about PSP prices remain the top issue even though it decreased by 25%. The CCTS does not accept complaints about how PSPs set their prices or the amount of telecom or television service prices; however, complaints about disclosure of price changes can be accepted. Issues about rights of way doubled (from 144 last year to 295 this year). Issues about networking services and security services increased by 42% and 31% respectively.

Telemarketing or unsolicited messages issues and broadcasting content issues decreased by 31% and 36% respectively.

Complaints about the quality of customer service delivered by providers do not fall within the CCTS’ mandate. However, we track the inquiries we get about these issues.

Table 10.3: Procedural Code Section 4
Issue Number
Section 4.1 Customer service
Language barriers 275
Outsourcing 432
No phone number for customer service 460
Rude representative 2,560
Wait times 2,894
Total 6,621
Section 4.3 General operating practices and policies 4,884
Total 11,505

In 2020-21 there were 11,505 issues, a decrease of 15% from last year.

The CCTS is required to decline complaints for certain situations, in accordance with our Procedural Code. These complaints are tracked and reported in the table below.

Table 10.4: Procedural Code Section 10: Duty To Decline To Take Action
Issue Number
Section 10.1 Service provider not offered opportunity to resolve 1,417
Section 10.2(b) Matter previously or currently with another agency 1,142
Section 10.3(a) Facts transpired more than one year ago 1,874
Section 10.3(b) Facts arose prior to effective date 41
Total 4,474

 

Complaints that customers tried to file in which facts took place more than one year earlier increased by 22%.

Most complaints about a service provider’s failure to accommodate customer accessibility requests are out of our mandate.

There are some accessibility issues that the CCTS will consider to be in-scope; specifically, where a CRTC Code that the CCTS administers contains a requirement to provide an accommodation. The Wireless, TVSP and Internet Codes require an extended trial period for persons with disabilities and also requires that customer contracts and related documents be provided in an accessible format on request.

At the request of the CRTC and members of the accessibility community, we track when customers raise out-of-scope accessibility issues about their service providers. We also refer these issues to the CRTC, which has the mandate to deal with them.


Table 10.5: Accessibility issues

Section Number
Customer service: Indifference to customer’s disability 42
Hearing and speech issues:
Lack of in-store language accessibility
Message relay services (MRS) not available
Video relay services (VRS) not available

0
5
3
Total 8
Mobility issues: Lack of in-store physical accessibility 0
Visual issues:
Contract not provided in alternative format (for home phone and long distance only)
Bills and other information not provided in alternative format

13
0
Total 13
TV accessibility issues 67
Special type of wireless device handset not offered 2
Customer was refused an accessibility plan 2
Emergency services (barriers to accessing emergency services) 6
Policies and operating procedures 17
Other issues 14
Total 171

 

Complaints about the contract not being provided in alternative format increased from 1 last year to 13 this year. Issues about TV accessibility increased from 57 to 67.

Issues about wireless device financing plans

In March 2021, the CRTC issued a decision determining that device financing plans fall under the scope of the Wireless Code. This decision confirmed that the full protections of the Wireless Code apply to wireless device financing plans. To inform future reviews of the Wireless Code, the CRTC requested that the CCTS begin tracking complaints related to device financing plans in our annual and mid-year reports.

Table 10.6: Issues about wireless device financing plans
# of issues in 2020-21 % of all issues in 2020-21 # of issues in 2019-20 % of all issues in 2019-20 YoY change in # of issues raised Resolution rate (global resolution rate – 87.6%)
Device financing plans (wireless services) 142* 0.3% 72 0.2% 97.2% 87.3%

* Fifty-two percent (74) of issues about device financing plans for wireless services in the 2020-21 fiscal year were reported by customers between March 4, 2021 (date of CRTC decision clarifying that device financing plans fall within the scope of the Wireless Code) and July 31, 2021.

A key driver of complaints about wireless device financing plans appears to be a lack of clarity in disclosure at the point of sale.

Small business

In 2020-21, we received 2,722 complaints from small business customers, a 130% increase from last year and 6.4% of all concluded complaints.

When we report our operational statistics, we include the data for all the complaints we dealt with during the year. However, not all complaints are alike. In particular, we know that complaints from small business customers can be quite different from those of individual consumers. The following tables highlight the differences.

The proportion of contract dispute and billing issues for small businesses increased compared to last year. Contract dispute issues are up from 42% to 47%. Billing issues are up from 29% to 31%.

The distribution of small business issues across service types remains largely unchanged from last year.

Table 10.7: Small business complaint subjects vs. consumer complaint subjects
Subject Small business Consumer
Contract dispute 42.4% 30.3%
Billing 28.5% 39.3%
Service delivery 26.5% 26.3%
Credit management 2.6% 4.1%
Total 100% 100%
Table 10.8: Small business complaint service types vs. consumer complaint service types
Service Small business Consumer
Internet access 32.7% 31.1%
Wireless 36.0% 44.2%
Local exchange and VoIP services (including calling features) 30.5% 10.6%
Long distance (including prepaid calling cards) 0.9% 1.0%

 

Table 10.9: Top 10 small business complaint issues
Issue Small business Consumer
Disclosure issues 11.7% 14.2%
Legitimacy of early termination fee (ETF) 10.9% 2.5%
Incorrect charge 10.5% 13.3%
Quality of service 9.8% 11.1%
Breach of contract 5.4% 6.5%
Credit/refund not received 4.6% 5.7%
Auto-renewal 3.3% 0.1%
No consent provided 2.8% 1.3%
Amount of ETF 2.8% 0.8%
Complete loss of service 2.8% 2.9%

Analysis of closed complaints

Our operational statistics show that we closed 2,028 complaints in 2020-21. The following table provides a breakdown of the reasons why those complaints were closed, with reference to the relevant section of the Procedural Code.

Table 10.10: Complaints closed by reason for closure
Complaint Issues %
Closed as duplicate 3 0.1%
Customer withdrew complaint 203 10.0%
Out-of-mandate after further information obtained 20 1.0%
Section 9.1(b) Customer is not authorized to file complaint 10 0.5%
Section 9.1(c) Complaint more appropriately handled by another agency 128 6.3%
Section 9.1(d) Further investigation not warranted 386 19.0%
Section 9.1(e) Customer not cooperative 962 47.5%
Section 9.1(f) Service provider offer is reasonable 142 7.0%
Section 10.1 Service provider not offered opportunity to resolve 3 0.1%
Section 10.2(b) Matter previously or currently with another agency 8 0.4%
Section 10.3(a) Complaint filed outside time limits 161 8.0%
Section 10.3(b) Facts arose prior to effective date 2 0.1%
Total 2,028 100%

 

Compensation analysis

In cases that are resolved as well as in Recommendations and Decisions, customers may receive some form of compensation from their service provider. This compensation can take many forms, including:

  • bill credits
  • bill adjustments
  • free or discounted products and services
  • cash payments

We attempt to record the value of all compensation awarded to customers as a result of the CCTS process. This is challenging because in a significant number of cases (in particular, resolutions that occur at our Pre-investigation stage) we are not provided with the details of the settlement reached between the customer and the service provider.

The total compensation awarded in 2020-21 that we can determine was $2,861,299.72.

Table 10.11: Number of complaints in which compensation was awarded
Compensation range Number of complaints Percentage
< $100 3,381 35.2%
$100 – $499 4,875 50.8%
$500 – $999 881 9.2%
$1,000 – $4,999 449 4.7%
$5,000 or more 14 0.1%
Total 9,600 100%

“I was getting nowhere with my service provider and very frustrated. A friend recommended the CCTS. If it wasn’t for the CCTS I would probably still be waiting for resolution.”

Performance standards

Each year, we set a goal to provide great customer service, and we track our performance across various benchmarks. The following tables show how our performance this year compares to those benchmark targets.

Contact Centre/Pre-investigation

Table 10.12: Contact Centre/Pre-investigation performance standards
Process Target 2020-21
Answer phone calls within 120 seconds 80% 83.9%
Process written communications within 3 calendar days 80% 85.2%

Complaint handling

Table 10.13: Complaint handling performance standards
Process Target 2020-21
Complaints concluded at Pre-Investigation stage within 40 days of acceptance 80% 95.3%
Complaints concluded at Investigation stage within 60 days of referral to Investigation 80% 85.0%

Despite being a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unusual working conditions, we exceeded all of our target benchmarks.

Regional analysis

We receive complaints from customers throughout Canada. Here, we identify the number of accepted complaints by province/territory.

AB BC MB NB NL NT NS NU ON PE QC SK YT
Table 10.14: Complaints accepted by province/territory
Province Complaints Population*
Alberta 1,456 8.6% 4,444,277 11.7%
British Columbia 2,290 13.5% 5,174,724 13.6%
Manitoba 465 2.7% 1,382,721 3.6%
New Brunswick 248 1.5% 783,721 2.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador 128 0.8% 520,286 1.4%
Northwest Territories 8 0.0% 44,991 0.1%
Nova Scotia 300 1.8% 982,326 2.6%
Nunavut 10 0.1% 39,536 0.1%
Ontario 7,978 46.9% 14,789,778 38.8%
Prince Edward Island 72 0.4% 160,536 0.4%
Quebec 3,847 22.6% 8,585,523 22.5%
Saskatchewan 170 1.0% 1,179,906 3.1%
Yukon 21 0.1% 42,596 0.1%
Not specified 10 0.1%
Total 17,003 100% 38,131,104 100%

* Canada, Statistics Canada, Table 17-10-0009-01 (formerly, CANSIM 051-0005)