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File No.

: 1011-NOC2018-0246
2018 09 14

To: Claude Doucet


Secretary General
Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2

Subject: Telecom and Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2018-246, Report


regarding the sales practices of Canada's large telecommunications carriers –
Reply Comments

Dear Mr. Doucet,

1. By 31 August 2018, the day following the Commission's deadline for interventions in the
above-noted proceeding, approximately 1,400 interventions had been posted on the
Commission's website. We have reviewed these interventions and offer the following
Reply Comments.

2. Based on our review of the record, it appears that all large service providers have similar
measures, incentives and processes in place to discourage the use of misleading or
aggressive practices by their sales agents. These include:

- Bell1 offers a variety of Buyer's Remorse and cooling off periods;


- Bell2 , Rogers3 and Eastlink4 compensate their employees in a manner that does
not incent aggressive and/or misleading sales;
- Bell5 and Rogers 6 utilize clawbacks of sales commissions if there are
cancellations or deactivations within a certain timeframe;

1 Bell Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 21.

2 Ibid, paragraph 23.

3 Rogers Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 43.


4 Eastlink Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraphs 15 and 16.

5 Bell Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 24.

6 Rogers Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 40.


Bell Canada
Philippe Gauvin
Floor 19
160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2C4

Telephone: (613) 785-6286


Facsimile: (613) 560-0472
bell.regulatory@bell.ca
2018 09 14 !2

- Bell7 , SaskTel8 and Tbaytel 9 employees are subject to call monitoring and other
audit programs;
- Rogers has developed a Secret Shopper program to monitor the quality of
service customers receive at retail stores10; a practice that we confirm that we
also do at Bell;

7 Bell Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraphs 27 to 33.


8 SaskTel Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 8.

9 Tbaytel Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 12.

10 Rogers Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 8.


2018 09 14 !3

- Bell11 , SaskTel12 and Videotron13 employees are subject to disciplinary action up


to and including termination if they are found to be deliberately engaging in
aggressive and/or misleading sales; and
- Bell14 and Tbaytel 15 solicit feedback directly from their customers by way of post-
transactional surveys.

3. As set out in our Intervention, if a consumer encounters aggressive and/or misleading


sales practices, current measures of redress include: (i) the Competition Bureau's
jurisdiction over false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices;
(ii) the Commission exercising its powers under sections 24, 25 and 27 of the
Telecommunications Act; (iii) the ability of consumers to avail themselves of the services
of the CCTS; and/or (iv) the existence of various provincial consumer protection regimes
which, while falling beyond provincial jurisdiction, communications providers often
voluntarily collaborate with in order to resolve customers' complaints. These formal and
informal means of redress are, of course, in addition to perhaps the single most effective
form of consumer protection: the highly competitive telecommunications market place in
which customers are free to switch providers in the event that they are dissatisfied.

4. In this context, we agree with the Competition Bureau that, "[R]egulation should be used
only where market forces will not achieve policy objectives and, even then, only to the
extent necessary to address those objectives."16 Similarly, the CCTS noted that:

[A]ny proposed expansion of CCTS' mandate should consider that CCTS is a


not-for-profit corporation funded entirely by participating service providers.
Shifting oversight of consumer or small business matters from another, publicly-
funded body would therefore also effect a shift in how resolution of those matters
is funded. CCTS recommends that any suggested expansion of CCTS' mandate
to fill what the Notice refers to as possible "gaps" in the communications
consumer protection framework should take care to achieve complementarity, not
conflict, as between the mandates of industry-funded CCTS and publicly-funded
bodies. To help achieve that, any proposed expansion to CCTS' mandate should
clearly define the contours of CCTS' mandate. 17

5. As Eastlink notes, compliance costs are already steep due to various regulatory and
legislative requirements.18 Cogeco has also cautioned against using measures that
have a wider impact than necessary and imposing regulation that is not proportionate.19
Similarly, Shaw argues that there is no evidence of industry-wide concerns and that the
instances of aggressive and/or misleading sales are relatively infrequent.20

11 Bell Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 30.


12 SaskTel Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 9.

13 QMI Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 11.

14 Bell Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 34.


15 Tbaytel Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 15.

16 Competition Bureau Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 25.

17 CCTS Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph 82.


18 Eastlink Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraphs 23 to 25.

19 Cogeco Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraphs 18 and 19.

20 Shaw Intervention, 30 August 2018, paragraph iii.


2018 09 14 !4

6. Accordingly, parties seeking to strengthen consumer protections must first identify the
"gap" or systemic issue within the regulatory framework that their proposed new
measure seeks to address.21 Only nine business days have elapsed since these 1,400
interventions were posted on the Commission's site and we are in the process of
identifying the categories of sales related complaints that represent the largest source of
frustration for customers. Our initial findings are consistent with those articulated by the
CCTS, specifically that the most frequent complaint represents a mismatch between
customer expectations and what was offered/sold. The actual drivers of these
complaints may vary considerably. We are working to proactively reach out to those who
refer to an unresolved issue with Bell22 regarding their sales interaction with us to further
understand and attempt to resolve their concerns, should they be amenable to
discussing them.

7. It is also important to appreciate how we utilize key performance indicators (or KPIs) to
ensure that customers are being served by our call centre agents on a timely,
transparent and accurate basis when it comes to selling our products and services. For
example, the "First Call Resolution" KPI is designed to ensure agents do their absolute
best to resolve customer issues the first time that customer calls in. Similarly, the "Fizz
Back" KPI measures whether a customer did a quick survey about their experience. It is
designed to elicit immediate customer feedback about their call centre interaction in real
time; a measure designed to obtain feedback on how the customer experience can be
improved. The "Hold" KPI measures how long a customer has been placed on hold.
Again, this measure of performance is designed to ensure customers do not get
frustrated by being placed in long call queues; a reasonable means of ensuring that our
agents are serving customers on a timely basis. The "Sales In Service" KPI measures
how often a call centre agent sells a customer a service against whether that service is
subsequently canceled and is a further measure of call centre agent performance in
achieving customer satisfaction. If a customer cancels service after initially ordering it, it
is an indication of a less than satisfactory interaction, which in turn tells us that there is
room for improvement. Finally, the "Blueprint" KPI works to ensure that call centre
agents utilize a computer program designed to ensure there is clarity in the terms of the
offer and that the offer is based on the customer's needs. All of these tools are designed
to ensure the best possible experience with our call centre agents.

8. While we strive to make every customer interaction the best possible and train our
employees to do so, we recognize some employees may have legitimate concerns or
may be concerned about fellow employees' conduct. This is why we ensure that any of
our team members can reach out to their managers and our HR team for assistance.
Bell team members (and, indeed, anyone) can also always report any behavior
inconsistent with the Bell Code of Business Conduct anonymously and confidentially
through the Business Conduct Help Line. Anonymity is ensured by a third-party
specialized in ethical reporting and whistleblowing. Unethical conduct is not tolerated in
our workplace and we would immediately address any such concerns.

9. We commit to provide an update at the hearing regarding the actions we have taken to
address complaints and we look forward to discussing potential industry-wide solutions
that could supplement existing protections against misleading and aggressive sales
practices should the Commission decide that further measures are in fact warranted.

21 As per the Policy Direction (SOR/2006-355) which requires the Commission, when relying on regulation, to use
measures that are efficient and proportionate to their purpose. In our view, a measure's efficiency cannot be
determined if the purpose has not clearly been identified.

22 In addition to individual interventions, we are reviewing the comments provided by OpenMedia and the
Consumer Council of Canada.
2018 09 14 !5

10. Given the number of interventions filed, it is not reasonably possible to send these Reply
Comments to all interveners. We are sending our reply to each intervener who has
indicated that they represent an organization. This filing will also be posted on the
Commission's website as part of the ongoing proceeding and will be available to all
interested parties. As a result, no party will be prejudiced in their participation in the
proceeding.

Yours truly,

[ Original signed by P. Gauvin ]

Philippe Gauvin
Assistant General Counsel

c.c.: Nanao Kachi, CRTC


Guillaume Leclerc, CRTC
Interveners representing an organization

*** End of Document ***