Significant increase in complaints against wireless and Internet services

Complaints about wireless services and internet access increased 60% and 37%, respectively, in one year in Quebec, according to the latest report from the Communications Commission for Television Services Complaints (CPRST).

The federal agency responsible for collecting complaints from the public registered 2,035 complaints from Quebecers between 1Verse August 2020 and January 31, 2021. An increase of only 1.8% compared to 1,999 complaints received during the same period in 2019-2020, compared to 6% across Canada where the number of complaints jumped from 8,621 to 9,121.

Internet and wireless services

But when we look closely, we see that complaints about wireless networks increased by 60% and those affecting internet connections increased by 37% in one year in Quebec. Wireless and Internet access are also the most targeted services by scrutiny. They represent 43% and 31%, respectively, of the 4,864 cases raised in the 2,035 complaints received (more than one case can be mentioned in a complaint).

In Canada, over the past year, complaints about wireless increased by 39% and those related to internet services increased by 59%.

More specifically, internet service quality (intermittent or inadequate signal) was the subject of 198 reprimands in Quebec, representing a 31% increase. Across Canada, his ratings jumped 41%.

The number of complaints from local television and telephone remained stable in the province. These services were implicated in 14% and 12% of complaints, respectively, similar to what was observed in Canada.

Services targeted by Quebec residents:

  • Wireless: 2089 Problem
  • Internet: 1486 problems
  • TV: 667 problems
  • Local phone number: 568 problems
  • Other: 54 problems

Bell and Videotron

In Quebec and nationwide, Bell is the telecommunications service provider most targeted in complaints. This company targeted at least 29% of the blame for Quebecers, compared with 20.3% (1,849 complaints) across Canada, down 17.3% from the previous year. Videotron follows closely, with 27% of Quebec complaints.

The suppliers that receive the most complaints from Quebecers:

  • Bell: 582 complaints
  • Videotron: 550 complaints
  • Virgin Mobile Canada: 167 complaints
  • Video: 161 complaints
  • Rogers Communications: 91 complaints
  • Kudu: 84 complaints
  • Telus: 74 complaints

Main reason for complaints: billing

Surprisingly, problems raised by consumers more often stem from billing (44%) and contract disputes (33%) rather than service delivery (20%).

Subject of complaints submitted by Quebec:

  • Invoices: 2,116 issues
  • Contract dispute: 1,614 issues
  • Providing the service: 965 issues
  • credit: 169 problems

“Billing is the topic that consumers complain about the most,” notes CPRST Assistant Commissioner Josée Thibault. There is also a lack of disclosure of material information. Often associated. Suppliers do not provide the correct information and therefore there are billing problems.”

“Frankly, we are discouraged from seeing the complaints we receive about bills,” the commissioner adds. “Suppliers can easily fix some issues.”

88% of complaints resolved

Josée Thibault points out that in most cases the intervention of CPRST is sufficient to resolve the conflict. “Nine complaints out of ten (88%) have been resolved,” boasted the commissioner, who specified that a quarter of cases submitted to the independent body required further investigation.

CPRST in particular can request that the supplier correct the billing error, restore service and compensate injured citizens.

To prevent disputes, consumers should ask questions when deciding to use the communication service and read the entire contract, recommends Tipo.

“We also suggest communicating in writing or via email with the chat service, as it helps consumers build a case in the event of a dispute,” she adds.

As for suppliers, he invites them to provide “clear and accurate” information about the services they provide.

“Enlighten those who make decisions”

The CCTS semi-annual report has been sent to the Canadian Radio, Television and Communications Corporation (CRTC). The independent federal agency made no recommendations.

“It is not our role to recommend changes. Instead, we highlight trends, problems and shortcomings,” explains Jose Tipo. Likewise, the CCTS does not rate the quality of Canadian telecommunications infrastructure.

“We are here to enlighten those who make the decisions,” the commissioner says. She notes that the CRTC has relied on the work of the CCTS to propose regulatory changes, particularly with the creation of the Wireless Code in 2017.

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