Only One Major Wireless Carrier Saw a Drop in Complaints This Year

Errors on cellphone bills continue to infurirate consumers, according to a recent report from the Commissioner for Complaints and Telecommunications Services. The most common complaint? The telco overcharges the consumer.

The telecom watchdog handled nearly 11,000 complaints in the past year. That’s up 35% from the year before. 

“The number one complaint is what I will call routine billing errors related to regular service,” commissioner Howard Maker, who released his annual report last week, told the Canadian Press. “Wireless tends to be a complaint generator.”

The second most common complaint involved cellphone contract clauses—including such notorious things as early termination fees. Indeed, more than 60% of the complaints were related to wireless services—the most ever, according to the report.

In fact, there was only one major wireless carrier who saw a decrease in complaints: Telus.

Telus saw 1,211 complaints, which represented 11.2% of all claims. Bell and Rogers, meanwhile, each saw nearly 3,000 complaints, representing over 25% of claims apiece.

Even Wind Mobile, a startup discount carrier, saw complaints rise. In fact, Wind’s rise in complaints was a staggering 350% more than the year before. However, it still saw less claims overall than Telus, due to its significantly smaller subscriber base.

“We know we’re not perfect, but we’ve been working very hard over the last few years to introduce a number of new customer friendly policies and improve the level of service we provide to our customers,” Telus explains. “It’s an ongoing company-wide effort to put our customers first in everything we do—it’s something our employees care about a lot and have really rallied around. This report validates that our efforts are making a difference in an absolute sense and relative to our competitors.”

It’s inevitable that with 12.8 million customer connections across traditional landline phone, wireless and Internet services, there are going to be complaints and misunderstandings. While the 1,211 TELUS complaints is a tiny percentage of the total customer base that we serve, it’s still too many.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications has asked Canadians to help it build a national code that would hopefully lower complaint levels.