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Money CRTC urged to hold inquiry into telecom sales tactics

16:21  09 january  2018
16:21  09 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country’s major telecommunications service providers. The formal request to the federal regulator comes from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), an Ottawa-based

A CRTC logo is shown in Montreal, Monday, September 10, 2012. Canada's federal telecommunications regulator is being The federal broadcasting regulator is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country's major telecommunications service providers.

a man standing in front of a computer: The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which often battles with Canada's major telecommunications service providers, says some of their 'aggressive' sales practices have targeted vulnerable customers, including older Canadians.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which often battles with Canada's major telecommunications service providers, says some of their 'aggressive' sales practices have targeted vulnerable customers, including older Canadians.

The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country's major telecommunications service providers.

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TORONTO — The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country's major telecommunications service providers. The formal request to the federal regulator comes from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, an Ottawa-based

The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country's major telecommunications service providers.

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The formal request to the federal regulator comes from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, an Ottawa-based non-profit group that often battles with Canada's major telecommunications service providers.

PIAC executive director John Lawford on Monday called for CRTC chairman Ian Scott to investigate recent media reports about high-pressure sales tactics used by least one major company.

"Many of these aggressive sales practices appear to have targeted vulnerable consumers, including older Canadians, grieving spouses and blind customers," Lawford writes.

His letter refers to a CBC news investigation in November that began with allegations by Andrea Rizzo, a Bell call centre employee in Toronto who said she was under intense pressure to make a sale on every call.

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CRTC rejects call for public inquiry into aggressive telecom sales practices. Marketplace. Earlier this year, the CRTC rejected a request from a consumer group to hold an inquiry into questionable sales tactics in the telecom sector, saying there was no need.

Ottawa-based advocacy group, The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), formally asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ( CRTC ) yesterday to hold a public inquiry into aggressive telecom sales tactics , based on recent media reports.

The CBC reported later that it had received emails from dozens of Bell customers with various complaints and that a "flood" of Bell employees, past and present, had followed Rizzo's lead in speaking out about the stress they felt from pressure to meet sales targets.

At the time, Bell Canada's spokesman told the CBC that it succeeds in a highly competitive marketplace by serving its 23 million customers well. He also said the tactics described by current and former Bell employees would be "completely contrary" to the company's culture, values and code of conduct.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, headquartered in the Ottawa area, acknowledged receiving PIAC's letter but offered no further comment Monday.

Bell, Rogers and Telus were asked for their reaction to the PIAC letter but no comments had been received as of mid-afternoon Monday.

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The call to hold a public inquiry into sales practices at Canada’s major telecommunications service providers is growing, on the heels of more allegations of wrongdoing inside the industry. Consumer protection organizations and telecom customers say sales tactics must be examined.

CRTC urged to hold inquiry into telecom sales tactics . Bell insider reveals high-pressure sales tactics required on every single call. Bell customers, employees flood CBC with complaints about high-pressure sales .

Inquiry would 'provide transparent forum'

Lawford, whose organization takes a pro-consumer stance on a number of issues, acknowledged in an interview that the allegations against Bell haven't been proven in court, adding that's why the CRTC needs to step in.

"Anecdotally, we've had complaints from customers that this is happening at other companies," Lawford said.

He said that the CRTC would be able to provide a transparent forum to hear both the allegations and rebuttals.

"And they have the power, in their statute, to do things like this. And they have done it before," Lawford said in an interview.

He pointed to the recently updated code of conduct for the Canadian wireless telecommunications providers, which went into effect on Dec. 1 after the CRTC spent months collecting submissions from various parties.

He also said that non-disclosure of terms and misleading information about terms accounted for 10.9 per cent of complaints received by the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, another federal agency that works with the CRTC and oversees the wireless code.

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Federal Minister Navdeep Bains recently asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ( CRTC ) to launch a public inquiry into the misleading and aggressive selling practices of telecom service providers.

CRTC urged to hold inquiry into telecom sales tactics .

Lawford said an industry-wide inquiry into telecommunications services would serve a similar role as a probe into banking sales practices that's being conducted by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

The FCAC probe was launched last year after another series of CBC articles, beginning with allegations about sales practices at TD Bank (TSX:TD) that later included all of Canada's major banks. The federal agency said last month that it expects to release its report during the first quarter of this year.

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