Consultation on Canada’s large telecommunications carriers’ sales practices - Executive Summary

POR Registration Number: 028-18
Contract Number: 3201706
ISSN: BC92-101/2018E-PDF
Cat. No. 978-0-660-28610-5
Contract value: $161,950
Contract Award Date: August 8th 2018
Delivery Date: September 27th 2018

Prepared for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Ce rapport est aussi disponible en français.

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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, 2018. All rights reserved.

Political Neutrality Statement

I hereby certify as Senior Officer of Ipsos that the deliverables fully comply with the Government of Canada political neutrality requirements outlined in the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and Procedures for Planning and Contracting Public Opinion Research. Specifically, the deliverables do not include information on electoral voting intentions, political party preferences, standings with the electorate or ratings of the performance of a political party or its leaders.

Mike Colledge
Ipsos Public Affairs

Key Findings

The purpose of this POR was to examine claims of aggressive or misleading sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada to provide evidence in support of a report requested by the Governor-in-Council.

The POR sought to better understand the prevalence of aggressive or misleading sales practices based on Canadians’ own perception of these tactics, how they define such practices and incidence of a specific set of sales tactics commonly heard through complaints to CCTS. The POR also sought to gauge Canadians’ level of concern with these sales practices in the contact of the broader telecommunications sector and their appetite for the government to take steps to address these concerns.

Overall, four in ten (40%) Canadians who responded to the online panel survey report having experienced sales practices by telecommunications companies in Canada that they consider to be aggressive or misleading, the majority of which report their most recent experience took place within the past year (60% of those who experienced these tactics or 24% of all Canadians).

Prevalence of aggressive or misleading sales practices is even higher when asked about a specific set of tactics with a majority of Canadians reporting salespeople pushing telecommunications products or services they are not interested in (55%), while four in ten have had technical support representatives attempt to sell them products or services during the support interaction (39%).

Generally speaking, Canadians express concern with a number of aspects of the telecommunications sector in Canada and a strong majority are extremely or very concerned specifically about misleading sales practices (58%), while nearly half are as concerned about aggressive sales practices (48%).

Among those impacted by aggressive or misleading sales practices, few have taken significant steps to address the issue beyond speaking to friends and family about their experience (48%) and while four in ten (39%) complained to their provider very few brought their concerns directly to the CCTS (8%).

There is strong sentiment among Canadians that they want action from government at all levels to tackle the issue (77% agree) and a strong majority look to the CRTC specifically to address their concerns (74% agree).

Canadians more vulnerable to aggressive or misleading sales practices

Differences By Major Providers

Differences By Demographics

Differences By Official Language

Comparison to Voluntary survey results