Over 90% of telecom complaints successfully resolved

Complaints about roaming charges and credit reporting increase

OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) reports that over 90% of complaints received by the office were successfully resolved, as detailed in the 2012-2013 Annual Report "When You Need Help." "The high rate of resolutions tells me that both consumers and service providers view our process as fair and rigorous, and our approach as unbiased," said Commissioner Howard Maker.

CCTS handled 14,036 customer complaints in 2012-2013. "We continue to see an increase in the number of complaints about telecommunications services, with wireless services topping the list," observed Maker.

Wireless roaming issues increased by over 240% compared to 2011-2012. Consumer concerns about credit reporting by telecommunications providers increased by almost 165%. "Customers who've had their accounts inappropriately referred to a collection agency face very real consequences, potentially impacting them in many ways," said Maker.

Maker pointed out that 70% of complaints were completed by CCTS within 40 days. "Our focus continues to be on resolving complaints at the initial stages," said Maker. "Both consumers and providers have shown themselves willing to work together to achieve fair and reasonable solutions".

Although complaints increased, Maker noted that the industry is listening. "For a number of years we have asked the wireless industry to more proactively address customer problems with premium text messages. We are very pleased to see a 98% decrease in the number of times this issue was raised with CCTS by consumers." The Report again urges the industry to take greater steps to instill consumer confidence in the metering and billing of data, roaming and bandwidth charges. "This is a growing area of complaints with possible costly consequences for customers," he noted.

This year saw a continuation in the annual pattern of growth seen by CCTS since it was established in 2007.  Increases were recorded in the number of complaints (up 26%), the number of communications going to the CCTS Contact Centre (over 190,000), and the number of participating service providers (now over 240).

The sixth CCTS Annual Report "When You Need Help" can be downloaded here: www.ccts-cprst.ca/documents/annual-reports/2012-2013

About the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)
CCTS is an independent organization dedicated to working with consumer and small business customers and participating Canadian telecommunication service providers to resolve complaints relating to most deregulated retail telecommunications services.  Since July 2007, CCTS has provided consumers with an independent mechanism for resolution of complaints about deregulated local and long distance telephone services, as well as wireless service and internet access. This includes billing errors, compliance with contract terms and commitments, service delivery, credit management and collections issues. www.ccts-cprst.ca

SOURCE: Canada's Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)

For further information:

or to schedule an interview with the Commissioner, please contact:

Maxine Patenaude at Thornley Fallis Communications for CCTS
613-231-3355 ext. 245 or patenaude@thornleyfallis.ca

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Canada's Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS)

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