CRTC Collected Information about Misleading and Aggressive Wireless Providers in Canada

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During the week of 22 October 2018, the CRTC held a public hearing in which parties provided further comments about concerns related to providers participating in aggressive and misleading practices. Comments from the public were submitted on the record of the proceeding using the dedicated hashtag #CRTCforum during the hearing. 

The Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee, the Canadian Association of the Deaf, the Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind, and Deafness Access Advocacy Nova Scotia (DAANS), collectively referred to as DWCC et al., states that clear information is not always shared with the community. Plans that are designed to meet the community member’s needs is often not presented to them, sometimes at no fault to the salesperson. They do not know nor do they take the time to find information about plans that benefit the community directly. These plans are often relevant, accessible and limited time promotions are often missed.

“ DWCC et. al testified that some sales agents stated that they do not stack the accessibility plan rates with additional discounts or promotional prices otherwise offered or advertised, meaning that Canadians with a disability are not able to take advantage of offers made to other Canadians. They also expressed concerns regarding salespersons who were not aware of, or not authorized to sell, the packages designed for Canadians with disabilities.” (CRTC)

Lisa Anderson, an advocate that has been working over the past ten plus years to push for equal access to relay and wireless services shared the link to CRTC’s statement and said, “Feel a big relief... CRTC finally got it this time and it looks like a new proceeding will be opened leading from this report.”

Lisa’s link shared the article from DWCC Deaf Wireless Canada Committee CSSSC page and their original post shared a quote from CRTC’s report.

Canadians pay the highest among a surveyed 8 countries but some reports are claiming that it’s worth it, “Canada also grapples with a small population spread out over a large region, Masse says, making it more expensive to develop and maintain wireless networks.” (MEI Report) With such high prices, it is extra important to ensure that the community has access to their discounts just as everybody else and that’s what CRTC says they’re working to ensure this happens.

“CRTC says more can be done to ensure fair treatment of consumers

"Mobile wireless service packages at special rates designed to meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities is a best practice that’s in the public interest. The CRTC expects that these discounts are offered in addition to any other offer." (CRTC)