Earlier this year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission declined an advocacy group’s request that it investigate what some were calling “unfair sales tactics” in the telecom sector. Despite the CRTC’s resistance, the Governor in Council demanded it “conduct an inquiry in the name of consumer protection and affordability,” explains The Calgary Herald. Consumer protection and affordability became hard to ignore after media reports arose concerning sales associates who said they “felt pressured to sell services that consumers didn’t want or need.”
As part of its investigation, the CRTC is asking consumers to “share their personal experiences online or by mail by Aug. 30.” More importantly, it is encouraging former telecom employees to express their concerns and share their anecdotes, which can even be done confidentially. CRTC chairman Ian Scott said it also increasingly important to hear from “vulnerable groups such as seniors, people with disabilities and those whose first language is neither English or French.”
“To provide a meaningful report to the government, it is important that we hear from Canadians across the country,” CRTC chairman Ian Scott said in a statement.
The CRTC will also be holding a public hearing about telecom sales practices on October 22nd.
The CRTC isn’t just asking consumers for help – they’re also asking telecom companies to respond to the issue at hand by answering “a series of questions about their sales practices, including how they ensure third-party and in-house sales reps provide consumers with suitable products.” They’re being asked to detail how they handle complaints, train employees, and provide copies of sales materials, including “sales scripts or pitches, company policies and sales incentives.”
The following companies are required to respond to the CRTC’s questions by August 23rd: BCE Inc., Bragg Communications Inc. (operating as Eastlink), Cogeco Connexion Inc., Northwestel Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corp., Shaw Communications Inc., TBayTel, TekSavvy Solutions Inc., Telus Corp., Videotron Ltd. and Xplornet Communications Inc.
If you are looking to share your experience online, you can visit crtc.gc.ca and follow the link on the homepage to participate in the process.
Source: CRTC calls for complaints on misleading, aggressive telecom sales practices
Published: July 16, 2018