Telecommunications and Customer Service: Where are We?


Luc Gonthier, Marcel Boucher


Union des consommateurs




Telecommunications is playing a growing role in the lives of Canadian consumers. For this reason, the quality and effectiveness of customer service in the telecommunications industry is more important than ever. The objectives of this study by Union des consommateurs is to assess the quality of customer service in Canada’s telecommunications industry and find viable solutions to the problems that have been identified. To accomplish these objectives Union des consommateurs conducted a Canada-wide survey in order to gain insights into how consumers feel about the quality of customer service in the telecommunications industry.
Although the survey found that 80% of respondents reported satisfaction with their providers’ telecommunications services, overall satisfaction decreased when a customer was calling to resolve a complaint rather than to request information. When asked to rank the services delivered by telecommunications providers, customer service was consistently ranked among the lowest quality. Additionally, complaints made to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom Services (CCTS) have tripled over the past four years. Many foreign jurisdictions share the frustrations of Canadian consumers with the quality of customer service in telecommunications and have initiated legislative and regulatory interventions. Drawing inspiration from these initiatives, Union des consommateurs recommends empowering the CRTC to regulate the customer service policies of service providers. They also recommend establishing and enforcing certain minimum standards for complaint handling, so that consumers know what to expect when contacting customer service. Finally, it is recommended that CCTS handle consumer complaints about providers’ failures regarding their customer service policies.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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