Consumer complaints against Telus drop after initial pandemic bump: watchdog

Industry watchdog’s mid-year report reveals complaints have fallen 17 per cent

Consumer complaints against Telus on the wane, says watchdog report | iStock/Getty Images Plus

Consumer complaints against Telus Corp. (TSX:T) are showing the first signs of waning after an initial bump in dissatisfied customers at the outset of the pandemic, according to an industry watchdog report.

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) revealed Monday the Vancouver-based telecom giant faced 535 complaints between Aug. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022.

That’s down 17 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier when 644 complaints were lodged against Telus, a time when many workers were still adjusting to working from home.

The watchdog’s first full-year report capturing the pandemic, released this past December, showed complaints against Telus had gone up 4.7 per cent in the period between August 2020 and July 2021.

Flash forward six months and complaints are now starting to drop.

Meanwhile, the CCTS’s mid-year report also shows Telus accounted for 8 per cent of the 6,682 complaints Canadian customers filed against all telecom providers across the country. That’s up from 7.1 per cent a year earlier.

Telus also received fewer complaints than its biggest competitors: Bell Canada (1,182 complaints) and Rogers Communications (1,003 complaints).

Rogers flanker brand Fido also received more complaints than Telus, tallying 753.

“While we are proud to see a meaningful decrease in complaints this year compared to last, we will not be satisfied until we receive zero complaints from our customers,” Zainul Mawji, Telus president of customer excellence, said in a statement.

Overall, complaints against all telecom providers dropped 26 per cent over the six months covered in the watchdog’s latest report.

Problems with wireless services accounted for 49 per cent of all issues brought up by consumers.

“We continue to observe problems with service providers failing to disclose important information to their customers when signing up for a new phone, internet or TV service,” CCTS commissioner and CEO Howard Maker said in a statement.

“This can lead to complaints if bills or services don’t meet the customer’s expectation.”