Our thoughts on a national consumer wireless code

Customers have spoken up about their trials and tribulations in dealing with Canada’s wireless service providers. The CRTC’s consultation on the development of a national consumer code for wireless services brought forward many valid complaints that the CRTC must consider.

Fortunately, we’ve already heard – and acted upon – the same feedback from our customers. In fact, many of the proposals made include rules that describe what we’re already doing – clearly showing the remaining device balance on bills, getting rid of activation fees and extensively notifying customers when additional charges may be incurred.

These and many other policies are driven by a company-wide commitment at TELUS to being clear, simple, fair and transparent with our customers.

We weren’t happy to see the number of consumer complaints and bad experiences highlighted in the individual comments filed by TELUS and Koodo customers. While no company likes to read these kinds of stories, we know that our commitment to putting Customers First is working. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

After reporting a 7 per cent reduction in accepted complaints relating to TELUS and Koodo combined in its 2011-12 fiscal year, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) recently informed us that in the first quarter of this year, accepted complaints relating to TELUS and Koodo are only 37 per cent of what CCTS would have expected based on TELUS’ share of overall industry revenues.

That tells us that we’re doing something right, but we’re not there yet. There’s more to do, which is why  in addition to supporting a national wireless code, we’re going to keep listening to our customers and making improvements.

We believe that the CRTC’s wireless code rules should focus on:

  • Ensuring that customers understand what they are getting into by clearly disclosing rates and terms of service
  • Treat customers fairly with clear and transparent policies
  • Avoid “bill shock” by notifying customers when additional charges may be incurred

To learn more about our positions on the issues before the CRTC, you can read our initial comments and our reply comments.

The CRTC must now review all of the comments and put together a draft code to be put out for comment in the New Year. Then there will be another round of online consultation and a public hearing in Gatineau, Quebec starting on February 11, 2013.