TekSavvy Appears In Front Of The CRTC In Regards To Telco Sales Practices

The CRTC is holding hearings this week to examine the retail sales practices of Canada’s large telecommunications carriers. Independent ISP TekSavvy presented to the CRTC panel this morning and here’s some highlights of what Janet Lo, VP Privacy & Consumer Legal Affairs of TekSavvy: said:

  • TekSavvy believes in doing what is right for our customers and strives to treat consumers fairly and honestly. We advertise the best available price, so that our best offer is transparent to both consumers and the competitive market. Additionally, TekSavvy does not use any sales incentives, targets, or rewards to pressure employees to complete sales.
  • TekSavvy offers the unique perspective of a wholesale-based competitor service provider, and the impact of misleading retail sales practices on wholesale-based competitors and competition.
  • Retail sales practices occur in many contexts for telecommunications services – in a store, over the phone, at a consumer’s door, or during an installation or repair appointment. Where an incumbent telecommunications service provider uses a wholesale transaction as an opportunity to complete a sale for their retail services, this is an inappropriate retail sales practice with the potential for misleading or aggressive sales practices.
  • When an end-user gets service from a wholesale-based competitor like TekSavvy, the incumbents’ technicians perform the installation and repairs for that service. Since the same technicians more often serve and sell the incumbents’ own retail services, the technician’s presence at the customer’s home gives them a touchpoint to mislead and inappropriately poach TekSavvy’s end-user to the incumbent’s retail services. TekSavvy’s intervention detailed scenarios of incumbents’ sales practices targeting TekSavvy’s end-users during wholesale-based installation and repair appointments, or providing misleading information about TekSavvy as a competitor.
  • Consumers are harmed where unfair pressure is used to complete a sale or upsell, where misleading or false statements about competitors are used to win a customer, or where consumers experience unsolicited sales in their own home when they are expecting service installation or repair.
  • The competitive marketplace is distorted and disproportionately harms wholesale-based competitors when misleading and aggressive sales practices occur from opportunities that arise when incumbents have a conflict of interest. As described in our intervention, incumbents have a conflict of interest when they control wholesale inputs, including dispatching technicians to install service for a wholesale-based provider’s customer, and they compete with their wholesale customers for the same retail customer.

It will be interesting to see how the big three telcos say because TekSavvy has created a narrative that surely casts them in a negative light.

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