If Canadians Want Bell Canada To Change Its Behavior, They Need To Stop Doing Business With Bell Canada

Earlier this week it came to light that Bell Canada was forcing it’s call center staff to upsell customers at every opportunity. Since then customers have been coming out of the woodwork to say that that report is 100% accurate. For example, the CBC has a follow up report with some truly horrifying examples of what Bell is doing to customers. I encourage you to read it as some of the stories that are in that report are truly horrific. One thing that was suggested in that story was this:

The growing number of allegations about Bell employees using high-pressure sales tactics to upsell customers has prompted the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) to call for a public inquiry.

“The CRTC needs to take a look at the sales practices of telecommunications and broadcasting companies in Canada with a particular emphasis on upselling or misleading sales,” PIAC executive director John Lawford said.

“Right now, there’s nothing in the Wireless Code that says you have to sell customers products that are suitable,” said Lawford.  

“If sales practices that are inappropriate and ripping off consumers are endemic in the industry, that’s completely appropriate for the CRTC to say ‘We’re going to set out rules.'”

The problem is, that’s not going to cut it. The CRTC has proven that it doesn’t have the will or ability to really act as a regulator. At least not when you compare them to the FTC or FCC in the states which does a far better job of this sort of thing. Though, they are free to surprise me by taking this on and producing results that will matter to Canadians. But I’m not holding my breath on that front.

The only real way to force Bell Canada to ensure that this behavior isn’t going on is to not do business with them. While Canada does have issues with having a truly competitive telco landscape, there is some choice out there in the form of Rogers and Telus. And shifting dollars away from a telco who on the wireless front accounts for 31.8% of complaints to the CCTS so far this year [Warning: PDF], would send Bell Canada a signal that this is not acceptable. And it would likely change their behavior way faster than any regulator or government could. The bottom line is this, Canadians have the power to do something about this and all they need to do is exercise that power. If they don’t, Bell will simply weather this storm and continue to do the things that are described in the CBC reports on this topic. Which is not good for Canadian consumers.

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3 Responses to “If Canadians Want Bell Canada To Change Its Behavior, They Need To Stop Doing Business With Bell Canada”

  1. […] the days since I posted this story and this story on Bell Canada’s sales tactics, I’ve gotten lots of emails and Tweets from people that […]

  2. […] Bell said to those customers that they could add an Apple Watch. Thus it seems that Bell still has issues when it comes to dealing with their customers in an upfront […]

  3. […] public inquiry into aggressive telecom sales tactics, based on recent media reports like this one, this one and this […]

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