Working with Customers

Annual Report

August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

We’re always looking for ways to help customers find out about our complaint-handling process and make it easier for them to access our services. This section discusses our activities and results in 2020-21.


Our website is a key tool for helping customers find us. According to our customer surveys, 34% of customers report first learning about the CCTS through an online search. This percentage is the same as last year.

Our website is also a focus for customers who want to file complaints. In 2020-21, 87% of the complaints we accepted were filed by customers using the “Submit a Complaint” interactive questionnaire on the website. The interactive tool to submit a complaint saw an increase in sessions: close to 59,000 sessions this year, compared to 47,000 sessions last year.

There were close to 373,000 website visits this year, a decrease of 20% from last year.


Providing accessible service to all Canadians, including those with disabilities, is one of our core values. We deliver our service in a manner that accommodates persons with disabilities and reflects the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity, in line with the best practices of the Accessible Canada Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

The CCTS consults annually with groups representing Canadians with disabilities. In 2021, we had consultations with participants from five different accessibility groups. During these discussions, we learned that the CCTS could benefit from working more closely with the accessibility community to make sure all consumers know about their right to escalate unresolved disputes to the CCTS. The participants expressed a willingness to help us spread the word within their networks. The CCTS will continue to work with these groups and provide materials to help with this process.

Accessibility groups explained that their communities have particular information access barriers that may make it harder for them to learn about the availability of the CCTS from the existing Public Awareness Plan obligations. We also learned that some functionalities on the CCTS website could be improved for users with disabilities. We will consider how best to address these issues in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

As an information gateway to our complaint-handling service, it is crucial that our website serves all consumers. As such, we regularly scan our website to ensure that our online self-serve tools and content meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and that we plan website updates to meet accessibility standards. All of the CCTS’ videos are closed captioned and have an American Sign Language/langue des signes Québécoise (ASL/LSQ) version. Our publications, such as our Annual and Mid-Year Reports, are in an HTML format.

In 2019-2020, the CCTS formed an Accessibility Committee to regularly discuss and plan the progress of accessibility efforts within the CCTS. In June of 2021, the Accessibility Committee published the CCTS Accessibility Plan, which outlines CCTS’ commitments, policies and planned actions to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. The Committee continues to oversee a number of initiatives that include providing training on accessible customer service to all the CCTS employees, directors, volunteers and others who communicate with the public or third parties on behalf of the CCTS; integrating accessibility best practices early on in the development of new products and decision-making processes; and ensuring an accessible work environment for all employees.

The CCTS continues to track accessibility-related issues that appear in customer complaints, as requested by the CRTC and members of the accessibility community.

For more information about our accessibility policies and guidelines, see our Accessibility web page and our Accessibility Plan.

“The CCTS process exceeded my expectations on how quickly action was taken by my service provider to resolve my reported issue.”

Customer survey results

We survey customers who use our service for two reasons:

  • to get their impressions of the work we do and refocus our efforts for improvement;
  • to attempt to measure the success of the public awareness initiatives we require PSPs to implement.

The results are based on almost 4,000 responses. Numbers for all results are rounded.

We thank the customers who took the time to participate in the survey and share their views.

We are proud that the customer survey continues to show high customer satisfaction levels with the service our staff provides. High customer satisfaction is one of our objectives and we are pleased to see we continue to meet it year over year.

What customers said about the CCTS

We asked our customers for the following information:

Is it important to have an independent organization to deal with telecom and TV complaints that has the authority to provide customers with compensation?

Was it easy to file your complaint with the CCTS?

Feedback on whether the service you received from our customer service representatives met your expectations.

Feedback on whether the service you received from our complaint resolution officers met your expectations.

Feedback on overall sense of satisfaction with various aspects of our process.

Timelines: Did we complete our work in a reasonable amount of time?

Professionalism: Were we professional, knowledgeable and courteous?

Impartiality: Did we act without favoritism to either you or your service provider?

What customers said about service provider public awareness activities

How did you first find out about the CCTS?

Service providers have committed to notify customers about the CCTS during their internal complaint-handling process. We asked our customers:

Did your service provider tell you about the CCTS during your efforts to resolve the problem?

Service providers are required to print a prescribed message about the CCTS on customer bills four times a year. We asked our customers:

Have you ever seen the notice on any of your bills?

Service providers have committed to placing a prescribed notice about the CCTS in a reasonably prominent place on their websites and to include a link to the CCTS website. We asked our customers:

Have you seen this information on the service provider website?

“I was very satisfied with how my complaint was handled by the CCTS. The resolution offered by my service provider, following the submission of my complaint to the CCTS, was reasonable and delivered in a timely manner. I believe that would not have been the case without the intervention of the CCTS.”

What customers said about their interactions with service providers concerning issues

We asked customers about their interactions with service providers before the CCTS became involved.


How long did you try to resolve your problem directly with your service provider before bringing your complaint to the CCTS?


How many levels of escalation (front line customer service, supervisor, manager, etc.) did your complaint go through with the service provider before you filed a complaint with the CCTS?

Public awareness

Canadians need to be aware of, or be able to easily find out about the CCTS when they need assistance in resolving disputes with their communications service providers. We take seriously the continuing need to ensure public awareness of the services that we provide.

The CCTS undertakes general public awareness activities, such as publishing our Annual and Mid-Year Reports, creating video content for our YouTube page, regular public newsletters, and providing media outlets with information and data. Participating service providers (PSPs) also contribute to building public awareness by carrying out the obligations of the CCTS Public Awareness Plan.

The objective of the Public Awareness Plan is to ensure that information about CCTS is readily available to customers when they need it most — at the time they are experiencing a problem. The Plan sets out a variety of activities to be undertaken by service providers, such as notices about the CCTS on service provider websites, customer bill messages, and informing customers in the course of PSPs’ internal complaint-handling processes.

Our Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program conducts annual audits of PSPs to determine if they are carrying out the CCTS Public Awareness Plan, engages with PSPs to bring them into compliance, and reports on the results of the audit in our annual Compliance Monitoring Reports.

In June 2021, we retained EKOS to conduct a public awareness survey. We survey the public to attempt to measure the success of the public awareness initiatives we undertake, including measuring the degree to which levels of public awareness have changed since the last public awareness survey.

Going forward, the CCTS remains committed to ensuring that the CCTS and its PSPs continue efforts to raise public awareness of customers’ right to recourse to the CCTS in the event of an unresolved dispute with a service provider. The CCTS is reviewing our Public Awareness Plan and will continue to evaluate our public-facing public awareness initiatives to best leverage opportunities to build public awareness about the CCTS.

Public awareness survey results

The results of the June 2021 EKOS public awareness survey are based on 2,061 responses.

The 2021 survey results were similar to those of our 2016 survey. Overall awareness of the CCTS remained stable at 20%. Twenty-six percent of those who have had an unresolved complaint are aware of the CCTS. Though this level of general public awareness is lower than we would like, there is no consensus in the ombudsman community or among academics as to the appropriate level of general public awareness.

The CCTS’ efforts have focused on building targeted awareness through mechanisms that provide customers with timely awareness when they have an unresolved dispute with their service provider. The primary mechanism for building targeted awareness is through the Public Awareness Plan, and through monitoring service provider compliance with their obligations to notify customers on their websites, bills notices, and internal complaint handling processes.

Consistent with the CCTS’ customer surveys, few respondents to the public awareness survey reported learning about the CCTS from their service provider. The primary sources of information about the CCTS are media reports, online searches, and word of mouth. These 2021 survey measurements will be considered as part of the CCTS’ review of our Public Awareness Plan and our consideration of other opportunities to build public awareness about the CCTS.

The survey asked customers for the following information.

Subscription to telecom and TV services

Which of the following telecom and TV services do you or does anyone in your household subscribe to?

Unresolved telecom and TV complaints

In the last few years, have you ever had a complaint or dispute with the company that provides your telecom or TV services that you could not resolve by dealing directly with the company?

Customer recourse in unresolved telecom disputes

As far as you know, if someone has a complaint or dispute with the company that provides their telecom or TV services that cannot be resolved with the company, does the customer have any recourse anywhere to appeal to, or does the company have the final word?

Where to go to resolve disputes

If you had an unresolved complaint or dispute with the company that provides your telecom or TV services, where could you go to get the dispute resolved?

Subgroup: Those aware or not sure that customer has recourse (n=1,460).

Total percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were permitted to select multiple responses.

Aided and unaided awareness of CCTS

Have you ever heard of the CCTS?

How Canadians heard about the CCTS

How did you hear about the CCTS?

Subgroup: Those who are aware of the CCTS (n=401).

Total percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were permitted to select multiple responses.

Incidence of contacting the CCTS about an unresolved complaint

Have you ever contacted the CCTS about an unresolved complaint or dispute with your telecom or TV provider or for any other reason?

Subgroup: Those who are aware of the CCTS (n=401).

Main reason for not contacting the CCTS

What was the main reason why you did NOT contact the CCTS about your unresolved complaint or dispute?

Subgroup: Those who had an unresolved complaint and did not contact CCTS (n=74).

Total percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were permitted to select multiple responses.