If you feel you have a valid complaint against your telecom provider, you are not alone. According to an article in the Financial Post complaint rates rose dramatically in 2017-2018 by a staggering 57%.
In fact, the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) reported even more startling numbers with a 75% increase in complaints between August 2017 and January 2018.
Most issues revolve around non-disclosure and people finding that their contracts have been inaccurately outlined by provider representatives. GoneVoIP offers an overview of providers available including customer reviews to help you avoid issues.
However, if you have experienced issues with your Canadian telecom provider, here is an overview of the steps you can take to get a resolution.
Know Your Rights
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) protects your rights when it comes to the services provided for phone, mobile, internet, and television. All providers must provide the following to customers:
- Terms of Service
- A statement that services may vary based on your location or the service provider
- Contact info to get more information
The Terms of Service will vary from provider to provider and from contract to contract but in general must outline the obligations of the agreement, all charges and liabilities, refunds available, time limits for payment, and your options for termination.
Your First Steps
If you are experiencing challenges with your provider your first step of action is to call your provider’s customer service department and let them know your issues. Make sure you have all the pertinent information to prove issues that have occurred such as past bills, your contract, your account number, etc. In most cases, your provider will do what they can on the spot to resolve your issue.
For more complicated issues they might have to get back to you. If you find that they have not resolved your issues either right away or within the time period they tell you, then follow up. Without resolution upon follow-up, you can then take your complaint to the next level.
When dealing with Rogers, they provide an Ombudsman for an independent review of customers’ problems. Although they are associated with Rogers, their mission is to provide an impartial review of any complaints that go unresolved.
They do not advocate for either side but instead will investigate the issue and help you resolve the issue fairly. If this doesn’t work, you can still pursue other avenues to get the end results you want.
Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS)
This is in place to handle complaints that have not been resolved to a customer’s satisfaction through their telecommunications provider. They are an independent agency set up with the specific purport of handling Telecom and TV customers’ complaints. However, it is important to note the Commission is financed by major telecom providers. So the work and neutrality is a question. An entity founded by the same service providers they are supposed to investigate makes their trustworthiness questionable. Having said that, CCTS is the ‘official’ channel to move a complaint forward in Canada.
Once the CCTS receives a complaint they will put it through an evaluation process. If it meets their mandate, they will follow up to collect all the required info from you. It is in your best interest to provide the information immediately as they will put your case on hold until they receive what they need. You can file your complaint online here.
They will forward your complaint to your provider who will be expected to report back to them in 30 days with news the issue has been resolved. However, the provider must be included in the list of participants. If they are not then the CCTS will request these join.
Once a response is received they will make sure the complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction. If it is still unresolved a mediator will be assigned to try to come up with an amenable solution between you and your provider. If it is still unresolved, the case will be investigated to ensure the provider has met its legal obligations to you. If they have, and even if you feel the issue has not been resolved, the case will be considered closed.
All recommendations provide a 20-day period for providers and customers to decide if they are happy with the solution. If the resolution is rejected by either party, an explanation is required in writing. If there is still no resolution the customer has the choice to pursue their legal rights to find a remedy.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
You can also choose the old-fashioned root and file a complaint with the BBB in your area. They will forward your complaint within two business days with a request to the provider to respond to your complaint within 14 days. They will send a second request if the provider does not respond. The BBB will let you know if they see any results. These complaints are usually closed within 30 days following receipt of your complaint.
Your last choice is through the government’s Competition Bureau. They can assist if you feel you have been a victim of false or misleading advertising by your provider. They will examine your situation and determine if your case falls under their jurisdiction. You can fill out their online complaint form here. This is the least biased form of complaint but does tend to take longer as it is a government agency.
Let it be known
Finally one of your last actions is to be vocal about it. Do not go quietly. Write reviews, write to your riding MP and MPP pointing to the treatment you have received. While this may be seen as redundant, it is yet one of the most powerful persuasive tools. Most providers do tend to be (more) collaborative when approached by politicians than their own customers.
If you find you are not getting what you want, you can always go to a small claims court. This is a long and expensive prospect and really is not the best route to go. However, it can lead to some good old-fashioned justice if you truly feel you have been wronged. It is also a good way to get the message out to providers that they can’t just stomp all over the “little guy.”
Shall be said, the telecom providers will try to resolve your issues as quickly as possible. However, should you feel you are not getting the results you need, these avenues are ready to assist. As well, making sure you do your homework using GoneVoIP’s reviews and telecom provider information will also help you find a trusted provider in your area.