Canadians are invited to share their experience on telecommunications sales practices using #CRTCforum on Twitter during the public hearing

News release

October 16, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

On October 22, the CRTC is starting a week-long public hearing on the possible use of aggressive and misleading sales practices by large telecommunication service providers, their occurrence and impact on consumers, as well as existing and potential solutions. The largest Canadian telecommunications carriers will appear before a full Commission panel as will public advocacy groups, senior advocacy groups and other stakeholders.

Canadians are invited to participate throughout the hearing via Twitter using the hashtag #CRTCforum. Tweets using the hashtag #CRTCforum which comply with the CRTC’s Rules of Engagement and which are posted between October 22 (starting at 9 a.m. EDT) and the end of hearing will be added to the public record. These will be considered for the CRTC’s report to the government on the matter.

In anticipation of the public hearing, the CRTC today published results of the public opinion research it commissioned to be conducted by IPSOS, which includes details from the online survey and the focus groups. Held across the country, the focus groups targeted directly those more likely to be affected by these sales practices – such as seniors and people living with a disability or whose first language is neither English nor French.

Some findings of the public opinion research are the following:

  • About 40% of participants reported having experienced sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada that they consider to be aggressive or misleading, the majority of which reported their most recent experience took place within the past year (60%), this means that 24% of Canadians who participated in this public opinion research reported experiencing misleading or aggressive sales practices within the last year.
  • A majority are extremely or very concerned about misleading sales practices (58%), while nearly half are as concerned about aggressive sales practices (48%).

Quotes

“Canadians' interactions with telecommunications service providers need to be carried out in a fair and respectful way. We are committed to providing a fulsome report to the Government on whether misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are used by large telecommunications service providers. To ensure a broad range of input from the public, during the public hearing, we are inviting Canadians, to share their comments on Twitter during the public hearing using the hashtag #CRTCforum. The goal is to allow the greatest number of Canadians to share their experience on this important issue.”

- Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC

Quick facts

  • The public opinion research and the public hearing are part of the CRTC’s inquiry, which will result in a report to the government on whether misleading or aggressive retail sales practices are used by large telecommunications service providers.

  • As directed by the Governor-in-Council, the CRTC is seeking comments on:

    • “Misleading practices such as failing to provide consumers with the information necessary to make informed decisions or providing incomplete, unclear or misleading information.
    • Aggressive sales practices including offering products to consumers that are unsuitable for them and the abuse of an ill-informed or vulnerable consumer base to benefit the providers.
    • The harm, or risk of harm, to consumers related to their finances or situations that could cause stress, confusion and frustration as a result of aggressive or misleading sales practices.”
  • In addition, Canadians were invited to submit an intervention between July 16 and August 30, 2018, following the publication of a notice of consultation.

  • The CRTC must submit its report to the Government by February 28, 2019.

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