OTTAWA, 29 March 2021 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) noted that the 2020-21 Mid-Year Report of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) released today shows a 6% year over year increase in consumer complaints during the months of August 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Customers raised more issue Internet-related issues during COVID-19 lockdown, concerning poor service quality and complete loss of service at a time when Canadians rely on internet services to complete essential activities.

“As expected, increased home internet usage by Canadians under lockdown showed the weaknesses in Canada’s Internet industry and regulation,” noted John Lawford, PIAC’s Executive Director and General Counsel. “The CRTC’s ‘Internet Code’ had only four violations despite thousands of Internet complaints – proving it’s a dead letter,” he added.

Rogers and Fido in particular, saw a rise in complaints against those brands of 23.9% and 45.3% respectively. PIAC is concerned with the trends for this corporation, given its stated intention to acquire Shaw.

Wireless services continued to be the most complained about service, although it saw a decline of 19.5% versus an increase of 6.2% for Internet services. Disclosure issues still remain a major problem as they were the top consumer concern (13% of all issues), followed by incorrect charges (12.7%) and intermittent/inadequate quality of service (11.3%) and within this issue category, complaints relating to Internet quality of service saw a 41.4% increase.

PIAC notes that disclosure concerns are a common issue year after year despite an inquiry into the sales practices of telecommunications providers by the CRTC that pointed the industry towards several flaws in their behaviour.
For more information, please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
613-562-4002 ext. 125 (New)
(613) 447-8125 (cell)

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