Canadian Cell Phone Compaines Come Up With Code Of Conduct….Whatever…

From there “big deal” department comes this announcement from The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association that they’ve decided to adopt a code of conduct:

“This new Code will ensure that customers have the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions,” said Bernard Lord, CWTA President & CEO. “It also safeguards their rights as customers and assures that their concerns are addressed.”

As for the “where’s the teeth” part of this:

Not only will the new Code safeguard the rights of consumers, but it will also serve as another resource available in the complaint resolution process by Canada’s Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). Unlike other jurisdictions that have developed wireless carrier conduct guidelines, such as in the US where the code is strictly voluntary, the Canadian Code will be backstopped by the third-party, independent CCTS.

“The CCTS was consulted during the comprehensive process of developing this new Code of Conduct,” said Mr. Lord. “And of course, it was the Government of Canada’s foresight in requesting the creation of the CCTS that will give the code its teeth in giving Canadian consumers confidence that wireless carriers will adhere to these high standards of service and transparency.”

Carriers that have signed on for this include Bell, Rogers, Telus, Videotron, MTS Allstream and Wind Mobile.

So, why am I so “meh” about this announcement? Simple. The customer service and the clarity of contracts for any Canadian cell phone providers not named Wind Mobile (as they aren’t in business yet) quite frankly sucks. While there is a complaints resolution process that is part of this, I really don’t think that this will do anything to change that. Perhaps the fact that I have come to expect so little from a cell phone provider is clouding my view of this? If Canadian cell phone companies want me to have a better opinion of them, here’s what I would suggest they do:

  1. They should actually have quality customer service rather than the lame excuse for customer service that these companies have now. After all, I have had very few positive customer service experiences with these companies and a whole lot of negative ones. I don’t have to single out any one company as they are all like that. That needs to change in a hurry.
  2. Get rid of bogus fees like the $6.95 System Access Fee that many of these cell phone companies love to charge and love to claim that it’s a government fee (which it is not).
  3. Lower the rates that they charge as Canada has some of the highest cell phone rates in the world. After all, if more people can afford to have a cell phone because cell phone companies aren’t going out of their way to gouge consumers, then they’ll have more customers which will increase their average revenue per user. Seems really simple to me.

None of that will happen of course because these companies really only care about lining their pockets with cash and not with providing a service at a fair price with customer service that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out every time you deal with them.

So, take this announcement and ignore it. It really doesn’t mean anything and it’s business as usual with Canadian cell phone companies. Of course they’re free to prove me wrong, but I’m betting that it’s not going to happen.

3 Responses to “Canadian Cell Phone Compaines Come Up With Code Of Conduct….Whatever…”

  1. Christopher Says:

    Greetings, I have been directed to this website and agency through a friend. They have informed me that you are able to assist me with a serious complaint I have about Virgin Mobile. After browsing several websites, I have found an appauling amount of Customers who are being scammed with the same issue. I have used Virgin Mobile pay as you go service for a couple of years. Recently I reactivated an old phone, and they gave me a new number. I selected a 40$ a month plan that entitled me to 1000 weekend/evenings/ 100 anytime minutes, 2500 texts. It seemed pretty simple and straight forward. That is until I tried to top up, and it has become the biggest most confusing mess ever. I topped up my phone last week, 3 days into September. I purchased a 15$ card and 25$ card, I used the phone on a Friday and by Saturday evening my entire balance was exhausted. I called Virgin and a Customer Service rep simply gave me a credit, but did not address my issue. I called Sunday and Monday, both Customer Service reps said that because I had topped up after my August 30th cut off date ( which I was not aware of ) my phone plan ‘automatically defaulted to pay-per-use’. I was very upset and stressed with the Supervisor that I was never instructed that I had a ‘cut off date’, I top up my phone once a month. He then told me that not only did I have a cut off date- but there were seperate dates for Talk AND Text. I said that this was ridiculous and that I would never go through an entire balance- paying $1 per text!! Since Labor day I have called once a day and they have told me that It was escalated to their ‘Complaints Department’- they have refused to call me back. This also occured to me in the previous months and after investigating my useage, I am finding that they are not living up to what their plans state.

    By withdrawing the funds on August 30th- which btw is still technically NOT September, they duped me into thinking that when I top up my phone that my normal plan would be in place. I never consented to having to top up techically twice in one month- which is the way they have it set up really. I have seen extra charges and internet useage, there are Virgin Websites and affiliates that I have apparently visited. Which is impossible because my phone is incapable of internet useage. They are treating their Customers like Garbage, as is apparent by the amount of serious and similar complaints. My point is that this cannot be a coincidence. As an individual citizen it is very hard to get a company who freely bullies their Customers like this to refund me my balance or even treat me with respect. I honestly thought that Virgin Mobile was supposed to be different, now I realize the Marketing gaffe and hype was just that. In reality what they advertise and what Customers are being delivered are night and day.

    Virigin Mobile will not admit that their Phone Card system is compromised and that there are already people out there who have the Card numbers. This is another serious scam that they seem to have no plan on fighting. The Regular customer is responsible for the charges, while some scam artist already has the codes. They have taken 7 days to get back to me, and their treatment of me verbally has been horrendous. They have accepted zero blame, and for some reason do not believe it is wrong to make changes to a Customers Account without them knowing, refusing to refund them their account balance in the light of such an obvious situation, making the customer responsible for all charges – even though the card pins are being stolen by merchants.

    If you can assist me further, I can provide more details. I can be reached at [REDACTED] – on my home line. My cell number is [REDACTED]. I would like to highlight your attention to this specific website.

    Although a marginal portion are positive to good, there is a very disturbing trend in the amount of complaints. The type of complaints are all obvious and the same. Virgin is doing this to a horde of new Customers who thought they were taking refuge from the big 3, Rogers, Bell and Telus. My phone card has been used before, and Virgin held me responsible for it- even though I told them I was not in Toronto at the time. It’s ridiculous, they can pin point the location of my actual cellphone through standard GPS and Tower Triangulation. I would like to know how they can get away with this when a simple check to reference the location of the actual Cellphone and its matching ESN/SIM could solve this problem. More importantly -wave the Customer of the liability of being a victim of Fraud.

    I believe that Virgin Mobile is benefiting from this scam/scams. They are not taking the appropriate legal steps to protect Customers from this type of abuse since they are still receiving funds for services. I will continue to fight for my rights as Consumer, and I refused to be abused by a Cellphone company. Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    • I think you’ve posted to the wrong website. I’d suggest that you take your complaints to the CWTA and see if you have any success with their complaints process. You can reach them at 1-888-221-1687. Please let us know how it goes for you.

  2. Please read my blog and see how rogers ruined my life

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