Telus CCTS complaints up 71%, and we’re not surprised

January 20, 2020 - Recently an internal communication was sent to members by Telus management with explanations for the dramatic increase in complaints filed against Telus to the CCTS (Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services), as mentioned in the linked article below. 

Higher industry complaints were in part attributed to an increased consumer awareness of the CCTS complaint process, along with a welcomed acknowledgment that the complaints allow for insight on where improvements are needed.

Members have reported that emails from management regarding specific examples of CCTS complaints ask the employees “What would you do to prevent a CCTS complaint?” 

We agree, the status quo does need to be challenged. What appears to be unclear though is what is happening to all the suggestions that are already being brought forward to Telus management by members? The Voice platform collects process improvements, but where would one submit other concerns such as: 

  • Issues that create unrealistic worktimes;
  • Lack of first call resolution in turn leading to multiple repeat calls;
  • Supporting departments lack of training causing delays and additional work load;
  • Lack of expectations when setting up a new customer or product on an account resulting in customer disappointment;
  • Employee’s well being due to increased pressurization in working conditions;
  • An over all feeling of working in the “wild wild west” due to daily, weekly and monthly product, process and system changes.

Members have been advising they are doing their best to keep up but are running out of gas. We are not surprised at the dramatic increase in customer complaints given that we’re increasingly prevented from being able to provide good customer service due to management’s flawed processes, often arbitrary metrics that may change quarterly (sometimes with unreliable reporting) and overall work environment. 

For instance, members have expressed that it does not make sense to have a “Super Agent/Tech” (a jack-of-all-trades approach instead of specialized roles). Given the knowledge required, along with expectations to excel in a high performance culture, the degree to which combined roles and tasks are being required is unrealistic and causing harm to our members.

Members are reporting they are struggling to keep up at work, and are doing the best they can but not feeling successful or supported. One common sense suggestion would be to allow more time each day to read communications and catch up on what daily changes are happening. 

Consistently customers are calling back advising they were never told something, or that what they were quoted was a lower price then what they were billed for. Management should set clear guidelines of what must be discussed when assisting customers and quoting plan prices, and set clear guidelines on what has to be noted on an account in case of a future dispute.

Members report constantly that additional duties are being added to their roles with sometimes minimal, inadequate training. For example, Technicians will now be adding orders, technical support is adding products and doing orders, and Loyalty and Retention is expected to add new products at a time when a customer is calling to lower their bill or cancel services, contrary to common sense.

Increased monitoring of productivity is actually causing harm to productivity. In the push to meet aggressive monthly targets, process steps are being rushed or missed entirely. The worry of showing up on an outlier report, or not meeting monthly targets, is creating a culture of fear, where in turn corners are being cut. While it may be a natural instinct to strive to meet targets, it should not be such a focus that negative outcomes impact employees and customers. Examples of such negative outcomes include being asked why your mouse was not moving for a couple of minutes 3 months ago (perhaps you had to go to the bathroom but were advised to not use emergency status as it negatively impacts management metrics), or why your truck may have been idle between customer jobs, even though you called dispatch, or your manager; Customers believing they are getting a certain product, credit etc. only to find something different, or missing, when the bill arrives; Customers requesting a change and having to call multiple times to have corrections done.

And yet, when members are unable to balance this mess of duties, metrics, processes and the constant changing of each of these, they often find themselves faced with discipline rather than help or support. Increasingly our workplaces are running on a culture of fear rather than one of guidance and assistance.

Telus asks you “What would you do to prevent a CCTS complaint?” but it’s time for members and customers to ask Telus the same question.

Let us know, what should Telus do to prevent CCTS complaints? 


Here is some statistical data when comparing the CCTS annual reports of complaints for 2017-2018 to 2018-2019

30 day cancellation complaints dropped from 120 to 98 = -18% decrease
Breach of contract increased from 79 complaints to 190 = 140% increase
Complete loss of service increased from 59 complaints to 87 = 47% increase
Credit reporting complaints rose from 117 to 161 = 37% increase
Credit/Refund not received increased from 98 to 134 = 36% increase
Disclosure Issues or Non disclosure rose from 298 to 404 = 35% increase
Equipment one time charges increased from 48 to 65 = 35% increase
Incorrect Charges – Monthly Price Plan increased from 191 to 363 = 90% increase
Install/Activation due date not kept or delayed rose from 36 to 56 = 55% increase
Intermittent/Inadequate Quality of Service increased from 144 to 217 = 50% increase
Invoices not received increased from 52 complaints to 74 = 42% increase
Language Barriers rose from 23 complaints to 33 = 43% increase
Late payment fees increased from 25 complaints to 42 = 68% increase
Legitimacy of Early Term fees decreased from 61 complaints to 49 = -19% decrease
Material Contract Change terms of service dispute up from 59 to 361 = 511% increase
Material contract change – without notice – increased from 44 to 105 = 138% increase
No consent provided decreased from 54 to 39 = -27% decrease
Plant Poles or Towers complaints rose from 64 to 92 = 43% increase
Pricing complaints increased from 133 to 245 = 84% increase
Privacy Issue complaints increased from 56 to 64 = 14% increase
Participating Service Providers “General Operating practices & policies increased from 337 to 434 = 28% increase
Rude Representative complaints increased from 124 to 178 = 43% increase
Wait Time complaints increased from 387 to 532 = 37% increase

In Solidarity,

USW Local 1944