Customer complaints against Vancouver’s Telus surge 71%

Photo: Rob Kruyt

What happened: Complaints against Telus grew significantly in the past fiscal year, according to a new report from an industry-funded commission

Why it matters: Despite the surge, the Vancouver company had fewer total complaints than its main competitors

Customers were feeling a lot less friendly towards Telus Corp. (TSX:T) this past year.

Complaints against the Vancouver-based telecom giant jumped 70.6% to 1,610 during the fiscal year ending July 31, 2019, compared with a year earlier.

Data released Wednesday (November 28) by the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Service (CCTS) revealed that complaints against all of Canada’s telecom and cable providers totalled 19,287 — a 35% gain compared with the previous year.

While the number of complaints against Telus surged, the company still registered fewer complaints total than its biggest competitors.

Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) accounted for 30.5% of all complaints with 5,977 and Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.A) accounted for 9.5% of complaints with 1,833.

Telus accounted for 8.3% of complaints lodged against providers.

“Given its share, Telus has a significantly disproportionate percentage of wireless material contract change issues (28%) and wireless price increase issues (30%),” the report stated.

But the CCTS noted that Telus also accounted for a lower proportion of wireless incorrect-charge issues (7%) and breach of contract issues (8%) given its market share.

In a statement emailed to Business in Vancouver Telus chief customer officer Tony Geheran said the company saw an increase in complaints following a price increase to a bring-your-own-device wireless plan.

“We heard from a lot of customers who were frustrated with our pricing and they said the contract was difficult to understand. We embraced this feedback,” he said.

“Since then, we have simplified our contract language to make it more transparent, introduced new endless data plans that eliminate fears about overages, and have dramatically cut-down the time it takes to connect with our customer service teams.”

Geheran added that the company has received fewer complaints during the autumn compared with the same period a year ago.